2006: Brouse honored for transformation

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5Duke 71.65 

The NCAA Division I Women’s Championship had been completed for five minutes and Purdue coach Devon Brouse was not pleased.

The Boilermakers had just finished the best season in school history, but his two freshmen both three-putted for bogey on the 72nd hole and Purdue finished in ninth place, one shot behind Georgia, Washington and Florida.

“The team didn’t finish worse than third all year, then we come here and do this,” Brouse said. “Maybe we tried a little too hard. This is not real gratifying considering we had a good team and had a good year.”

Good is understating it. Purdue won five times – including the Big Ten Championship and the NCAA West Regional – finished second three times, finished third three times and was one of five schools to advance to the NCAA Championship for the seventh consecutive season. The Boilermakers ended 2005 ranked No. 31 and finished this season eighth in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. Purdue’s drastic transformation makes Brouse Golfweek’s Coach of the Year.

“We have to look at the positives,” said Brouse, who also was named the National Golf Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year. “We established the program as one that will be a factor and we have a chance to be better next year. Overall, you’d have to say we had a fantastic year.”

Duke’s Amanda Blumenherst is Golfweek’s Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. The 19-year-old from Scottsdale, Ariz., was consistent from beginning to end. She won three times – including her first event, the prestigious Mason Rudolph Invitational and recorded seven top-three finishes. Herninth-place tie at the NCAA Championship was her worst finish of the season. Blumenherst’s record was 914-27-9 and she only lost to seven players outside the top 25.

“It’s been a dream year,” Blumenherst said. “This is what every freshman wants – win the first tournament, play well all year and end it on a team victory at NCAAs.

“Obviously I’ve been pleased with my game this year.”

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