Olivia Stoll doesn’t think there was one specific moment when golf finally hooked her. But deep down, she admits walking around Cypress Point watching her parents play golf might have played a significant role. Her mother, longtime Michigan State head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, had taken the family to Northern California while she recruited at the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior at Poppy Hills.
Shortly after that trip, Olivia arrived at a high school volleyball camp and called her dad. She wanted to ditch volleyball and head to the golf course.
“I was like ‘What is going on?’ ” recalled Olivia. “I never thought I would want to play golf.”
Oh, but her mother had dreamed of such a day for so long. Olivia’s interest in the game went from 0 to 60 practically overnight at age 15, declaring at dinner one night that she wanted to play college golf.
“Olivia,” her mother said, “I’ve already offered girls full scholarships that are your age.”
Olivia was undeterred, however, and on Mother’s Day, she’ll head to Eureka, Missouri, with her Grand Valley State team for the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championship.
NCAA Championship: Meet the 30 teams, 6 individuals going to Grayhawk
Slobodnik-Stoll, the winningest player in Golf Association of Michigan history with 18 titles, heads to Arizona on Tuesday for the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship. The Spartans claimed their first NCAA Regional title last week at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Slobodnik-Stoll’s heart will be in two places as she guides her team around Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, and reads text updates from husband Jim on Olivia’s performance in Missouri.
“It’s been my life’s work on both occasions – my own child and my team,” she said. “I’m thrilled that I have such a good problem.”
For the first time in program history … 🏆 pic.twitter.com/uhQ4ctCbzo
— Spartan Women’s Golf (@MSU_WGolf) May 11, 2023
Now in her 26th season as head coach at her alma mater, Slobodnik-Stoll said what impresses her most about this group of Spartans is they keep improving as the season goes along. Their success comes despite the loss of Valery Plata, a former Big Ten Player of the Year who turned professional mid-year.
Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo was headed to watch former Spartan Draymond Green compete in the NBA Playoffs on the final day of NCAA regionals.
“When he landed he called right in the middle of…
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