LSU women's golf advances to second straight NCAA championship
BATON ROUGE – LSU posted one of just two under par rounds in the field on the final day of the NCAA Stanford Regional in California to easily advance for a second straight year to the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Tigers posted a final round of 2-under 282 on the par 71, 6,267-yard Stanford Golf Course layout to finish the 54-hole qualifying event at 7-under par 845 (279-284-282), tied with Stanford. Southern California shot 3-under on the final day to win the regional at 15-under par 837 (280-276-281).
Stanford, Southern Cal and LSU were the top three seeds of the regional. The fourth advancer to the national championship was Purdue, a winner of a one-hole playoff with Northwestern.
The Tigers will advance to the championships for the first time in back-to-back years since advancing in 2011 (Bryan, Texas) and 2012 (Franklin, Tennessee). LSU finished third in both of those events which were 72-hole stroke play only competitions.
LSU will be making its 15th NCAA Championships appearance since the NCAA took over women’s sports administration in 1982.
“We did what we set out to do,” said fourth-year LSU Head Coach Garrett Runion. “We had the business trip mindset to come out here. The goal all semester was to finish in the top four in every tournament and we did that in all but one event. They took care of business to have all three rounds of par or better. You have a good chance of advancing through regionals if you shoot even par or better in all three rounds.
“We were really pleased to tie Stanford on their home course,” he said. “To tie the number one team in the country was an accomplishment that they were proud of. The team is excited that we are moving on and they are ready to get back to Arizona.”
The Tigers were one of nine teams in the 72-team, six-regional format to post 54 holes under par at the various sites around the country. Also, the SEC had nine of its 12 teams invited to regionals advance to the championships, The Tigers will be joined in Scottsdale by Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vandy.
The event, at the Grayhawk Golf Club for the second straight year, will begin on May 20. LSU finished ninth last year after the 72-hole qualifying portion of the tournament, missing match play by just one shot. The Golf Channel will televise the last three days of competition.
Although LSU opened with a big advantage entering Wednesday’s final round between the Tigers and the final cutline, the Tiger team treated it like any other round and continued the strong play of this spring. There was also no hangover from the SEC Championship as LSU recorded a total of 52 birdies, two behind tournament winner Southern California.
The Tigers led the field on the par 4 holes at 7-over for its five players, was 3-over on the par 3s and finished 8-under on the par 5s.
This was the first time that LSU successfully advanced to the NCAA Championships in three regional appearances on the Stanford course.
LSU counted three under par scores on the final day with Ingrid Lindblad shooting 2-under 69 and Latanna Stone and Carla Tejedo posting 1-under 70s. Elsa Svensson and Jessica Bailey both posted 2-over rounds of 73.
Tejedo, Lindblad and Stone all finished in the top eight, while Bailey finished in the top 20 in a strong consistent showing by LSU pretty much from start to finish.
Tejedo posted rounds of 70-68-70 to finish in solo fourth at 5-under par 208, while Lindblad was solo fifth with rounds of 69-71-69 for 4-under 209 and Stone rallied from her middle round to finish in a tie for eighth at 1-under 212 (67-75-70).
Just nine golfers in the field of 66 posted under par 54-hole totals.
“I was really proud of Latanna, Carla and Ingrid. Latanna and Carla were frustrated because they were hitting it close and not making any putts but they hung in there. To see all three of them finish in the top 10 was really strong.”
Bailey finished in a tie for 19th at 4-over 217 with consistent rounds of 73-71-73. Svensson, who shot her best round of the event on Wednesday, finished 74-74-73 for 8-over 221 and a T37 final ranking.
Lindblad was second in the tournament in birdies with 14, while Tejedo was second in pars at 41. Bailey was T6 in birdies with 11.