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Spring college golf preview: Big Ten women

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GolfChannel.com previews the 2019 spring season in women's college golf, from teams and players to watch to picks to win. Here we dive into the Big Ten:

Big Ten

Championship info: April 19-21, TPC River’s Bend, Maineville, Ohio

Recent champions: Michigan State (2018), Michigan State (2017), Northwestern/Ohio State (2016), Northwestern/Ohio State (2015), Michigan State/Ohio State (2014)

Team rankings: Northwestern (15), Illinois (18), Purdue (29), Michigan State (30), Penn State (39), Maryland (48), Michigan (53), Indiana (64), Ohio State (71), Rutgers (86), Wisconsin (88), Nebraska (103), Minnesota (121), Iowa (134)

Midseason All-Conference Team: Stephanie Lau, Sr., Northwestern (26); Brooke Riley, Jr., Northwestern (55); Crystal Wang, Fr., Illinois (63); Bing Singhsumalee, Sr., Illinois (75); Paz Marfa, Jr., Michigan State (86)

What to watch: This has been a fun conference to watch during championship season. Three times in the past five years, the Big Ten has needed a tiebreaker to decide its automatic qualifier. With several teams ranked within 15 spots of each other, this spring’s Big Ten Championship could again be hotly contested. … Other than a 10th-place showing at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate, Northwestern was fourth or better in its other three fall events. The Wildcats are experienced, too, with senior Stephanie Lau notching two top 10s in the fall. Freshman Kelly Sim also had two top 10s. … Illinois is on the other end of the spectrum when it comes to experience as the Illini has five freshmen on their eight-play roster, including two – Crystal Wang and Kornkamol Sukaree – who played in five events in the fall. Wang had three top 5s and Illinois as a team won three of those tournaments. … Purdue is also fairly young with freshmen Danielle du Toit and RuQing Guan playing big roles this fall. … Michigan State lost some momentum as the fall progressed, but junior Paz Marfa and Allyson Geer-Park should keep the Spartans in the Big Ten conversation this April.

Pick to win: Northwestern