Missouri State has been picked to win the 2012 State Farm MVC Women's
Golf Championship, according to a pre-championship poll of league
coaches. The Bears, who last won an MVC women's golf title in 2001, will
be looking to unseat four-time defending champion Illinois State.
54-hole tournament will be played at The Country Club of Terre Haute on
April 22-24. The team champion advances to the NCAA Regionals. The 10
teams will have practice rounds Saturday, and the tournament begins
Sunday at 8:30 a.m. (ET). Teams will play 18 holes each day
(Sunday-Tuesday). Fans are invited to attend free of charge.
year, Illinois State fired a two-round rain-shortened tournament total
of 305-292=597 to outdistance second-place Wichita State as the Shockers
totaled 312-304=616 for its best finish since taking second place back
in 1999. Pre-championship favorite Missouri State was right behind as
the Bears placed third with a two-round 617.
Team (1st-Place Tallies
Missouri State (10)
Missouri State received all 10 first-place votes and 100 total
points to outdistance Wichita State in the voting. The Shockers received
79 total points. Southern Illinois was third with 78 points, and
four-time defending champion Illinois State was close behind with 72
points. UNI rounded out the teams picked for the upper division with 67
Indiana State (51) and Bradley (42) were close in total
points for the sixth and seventh spots in the poll, while Drake (26),
Creighton (20) and Evansville (15) rounded out the voting.
season marked the first championship since 2003 in which the
pre-champion favorite failed to win the title. From 2003-10 (Bradley
beat Illinois State in 2003 on the first hole of a sudden death
playoff), seven-straight teams picked to win the State Farm MVC Women's
Championship ended up winning the championship. Notably, Missouri State
is the first unanimous pre-championship selection in women's golf since
2005 (Illinois State).
Missouri State's Kelsey Welber led the MVC
in stroke average during the regular season, clocking in at 75.62
through 26 rounds, with one medalist honor. Gretchen Huhnerkoch of
Wichita State is next, finishing the year with a 75.85 stroke average,
through 27 rounds. A total of 11 players won individual medalist honors
this season, including a pair (Brittany Atterbury of UNI and Margaret
Gilley of Southern Illinois) who won two tournaments.
State enters the tournament as the league's top-rated team in the
GolfStat team head-to-head team ratings. Southern is second in the
ratings. The Salukis have the most team titles of any league school,
with four, while Missouri State and UNI are tied for the second-most
team championships this year, as both have won two tournaments in
Creighton has finished ninth in the MVC Championships each of the past two years. The 2011-12 Bluejay squad is led by junior Celeste Gassman, who averages 79.5 strokes per round.