GLENCOE, Ill. — No. 19 Michigan State leads the Big Ten Championships by two strokes over fourth-ranked Purdue heading into Sunday’s final round.
After 54 holes of play at Lake Shore Country Club, the Spartans are 27-over par at 891 (306-290-295), while the Boilermakers are 29-over at 893 (303-296-294).
The Spartans are looking to knock off three-time defending conference champion Purdue and win their first Big Ten title since 2007 and their third under head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll. Purdue also won the 2010 NCAA Championship.
Leading the charge for the Spartans is sophomore Caroline Powers, who is tied for first on the individual leaderboard at even par 216 (72-70-74) along with Purdue’s Numa Gulyanamitta. Powers entered the day leading the field by three shots, but carded a 74 in Saturday’s third round compared to Gulyanamitta’s 1-under 71.
Powers struggled early, shooting 6-over par through the first three holes, but rallied back with five birdies and nine pars against just one more bogey the rest of the round to close at 74 (+3). She is attempting to become just the fifth Spartan to win medalist honors at the Big Ten Championships.
Junior Lindsey Solberg posted the best round of the day for the Spartans on Saturday, moving up into a tie for fifth after shooting a 1-under 71. Solberg is currently 8-over par at 224 (78-75-71) for the tournament.
Also in the top 20 is senior Aimee Neff, who owns a three-round total of 228 (79-71-78) to sit in a tie for 18th place.
Fellow senior Natalie Brehm is tied for 26th with a 231 (80-74-77), while freshman Allyssa Ferrell is tied for 44th at 237 (77-86-74). Ferrell’s round of 74 on Saturday was her best round since shooting a season-best 72 in the Central District Invitational back in February.
Freshman Christine Meier shot a 76 in the third round and is tied for 46th with a score of 238 (83-79-76).
After playing in rainy and windy conditions on Friday with temperatures in the 40s, Saturday’s conditions were much improved at Lake Shore Country Club, with temperatures in the low-60s.
Due to a suspension of play on Friday evening with thunderstorms in the Greater Chicago Area, seven teams, not including Michigan State, had to complete their second round on Saturday morning before beginning the third round. Following the second round, MSU held a three-stroke advantage over Purdue. The first round was held on Friday morning.