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UM women's golf protects home course, makes NCAA Championships; MSU barely misses

The Michigan women's golf team acknowledged feeling the pressure to perform in the NCAA Tournament, given the Wolverines were hosting a regional.

Michigan felt the heat down the stretch Wednesday but held serve, finishing in a tie for third place after the third and final round to advance to the NCAA Championships from May 20-25 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Michigan shot 3 over during the third round Wednesday to finish at 28 over for the three days at University of Michigan Golf Course, tying with Arkansas for the final two slots in the NCAA Championships. They held off Virginia Tech by three shots for the final qualifying spots.

Top seed San Jose State, ranked fifth in the country, rallied to win the regional at 10 over. Virginia, ranked eighth, was second at 13 over.

This marks the second consecutive year Michigan, ranked No. 18, is advancing to the NCAA Championships and the fifth time in the program's history. Four of those appearances have been under current head coach Jan Dowling, in eight seasons.

Michigan was led by senior Ashley Lau, who finished tied for fifth place for the week at 2 over. She shot a 2-under 69 on Wednesday to secure the Wolverines' place in the NCAA Championships. Junior Hailey Borja tied for ninth at 3 over, with rounds of 73, 72 and, Wednesday, 71.

Michigan was rounded out by West Bloomfield junior Mikaela Schulz (tied for 23rd; 10 over) and sophomore Monet Chun (tied for 32nd; 13 over).

San Jose State's Natasha Andrea Oon, the 10th-ranked women's amateur golfer in the world, won medalist honors at 6 under, winning by five shots.

Oakland finished the regional in 12th place, led by graduate student Amalia Shahzan (tied for 39th; 15 over).

While Michigan held on for its place in the NCAA Championships, Michigan State saw its spot slip away, finishing in fifth place in the Stillwater (Oklahoma) Regional. Michigan State found itself in the fourth position for much of Wednesday's final round, before finishing at 21 over, four shots out of the fourth and final spot, which went to Auburn. Baylor won the regional, followed by Arizona State, Oklahoma State and Auburn.

Michigan State had its best round of the tournament Wednesday, at 2 over, but it wasn't enough.

Sophomore Leila Raines paced the Spartans at 3 over, finishing tied for 10th, followed by freshman Brooke Biermann (tied for 15th; 5 over), senior Valery Plata (tied for 17th; 6 over) and sophomore Valentina Rossi (tied for 19th; 7 over).

The men's golf regionals start Monday, with Michigan State the No. 8 seed in the Bryan, Texas, Regional.

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Twitter: @tonypaul1984