The Youngstown State women's golf team will be seeking their fourth Horizon League title when the conference championships begin at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., on Sunday.
The Penguins will be looking to add a league crown to their long list of accomplishments in what has been one of the most successful seasons in program history. The team has already won four events, and set new school records for lowest 18-hole, 36-hole and 54-hole performance. This season marks just the fifth time in school history that the program has won at least four tournaments.
The event will take place on the resort's Las Colinas Course as the teams will play 18 holes on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to determine the conference champion. The course will play approximately 6,087 yards and par is 73.
YSU placed seventh as a team at the event last season and Katlyn Shutt finished eighth with a three-round 236 (76-87-73). Shutt will be the only Penguin returning from the team's 2018 lineup. The remaining four players in the lineup will be freshmen Victoria Grans, Puthita Khuanrudee, Rattika Sittigool and Jenna Vivo. All five Penguins competing at the championships rank among the top 12 of the Horizon League in scoring average.
The Penguins are seeded second behind defending-champion IUPUI, and will be paired with the Jaguars. YSU will tee off from 9:30-10:02 a.m. ET.
Shutt has put together of the most impressive individual seasons in program history. She is averaging a team-best 74.10 strokes per round, which ranks second in the league and is on pace to break the YSU single-season record. She has earned medalist honors at two different events and set new program records for lowest 18-hole (64), 36-hole (132) and 54-hole performance (213). Her 8-under-par 64 at the Roseann Schwartz Invitational is the lowest round in school history. Overall, Shutt has posted the two lowest and four of the six lowest rounds ever recorded by a YSU women's golfer. The junior has carded four sub-70 rounds in 2018-19; there were only two such rounds in program history prior.
In total, Shutt has earned five top-five finishes and seven in the top 10. She has recorded a single-season school record seven rounds of par or better, and tied the YSU career record with nine rounds of par or better. The Dover, Ohio, native took medalist honors at the Horizon League Championships as freshman in 2017 with a three-round score of 217 (73-71-73). The three-round total set a Horizon League Championships and YSU record as she became the sixth Penguins golfer to earn medalist honors at the event.
Grans is averaging 75.67 strokes per round, which ranks fifth in the Horizon League and is on pace to rank among the top-five single-season averages in school history. She has participated in all 11 team events, earning three top-five finishes and four in the top 10. Grans won medalist honors at the Savannah State Spring Invitational this spring with an even-par 72, and has been YSU's top finisher in three different tournaments. The freshman fired a two-round 142 (71-71) in YSU's win at the Dayton Fall Invitational to finish second. Her two-round 142 ranks as the third-lowest 36-hole score in program history.
Khuanrudee currently ranks third in the Horizon League with a 74.86 scoring average, and is also on pace to best the previous single-season school record of 75.50. Like Grans, she has competed in all 11 team events with three top-five finishes and six in the top 10. The freshman has been YSU's top finisher a team-high four times, and has posted a low round of 71 on two different occasions. She earned a season-best second-place finish with a 2-over-par 74 at the Savannah State Spring Invitational. Her three-round 221 (73-74-74) at the Kiawah Island Spring Classic is tied for the fourth-lowest 54-hole score in program history.
Sittigool ranks seventh in the league with a strokes-per-round average of 76.33. She has participated in 10 of YSU's 11 tournaments this season with four top-10 finishes, and two more in the top 20. Her low round of the season was an even-par 70 the team's victory at the Dayton Fall Invitational, which tied for the seventh-lowest round in school history. The freshman's best finish came in YSU's win at the Benbow Invitational, when she tied for sixth with a two-round 152 (73-79). Sittigool's three-round 218 (71-74-73) at the Kiawah Island Spring Classic ranks as the third-lowest 54-hole score in program history.
Vivo enters the league meet averaging 77.58 strokes per round, which is good for 12th in the circuit. She has competed in 10 events with two top-10 finishes, and her four in the top 15. The freshman has finished top-15 in each of the team's last four tournaments. She tied for sixth with a 76 at the YSU Spring Invitational last weekend to match her best finish of the campaign. The Boardman, Ohio, native has carded a low round of 74 on two different occasions. Her three-round 226 (75-77-74) at the Kiawah Island Spring Classic ranks as the 10th-lowest 54-hole performance in program history.
YSU won the first-ever league meet in 2003, won again in 2009 and claimed the 2015 championship. The 2015 win marked the first NCAA Regional appearance for the Guins after claiming the league crown.
The Penguins have finished second on six occasions and been third four times as well. The Guins have finished out of the top three just three times. YSU's league champions have been Lori Hatcher (2003), Katie Rogner (2008), Samantha Formeck (2009), Allison Mitzel (2013), Emily Dixon (2015) and Shutt (2017).
The NCAA Regionals are May 6-8 in Auburn, Ala. (Auburn), Cle Elum, Wash. (Washington), East Lansing, Mich. (Michigan State) and Norman, Okla. (Oklahoma).