BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – LSU posted seven birdies over the last four holes Wednesday to post a 4-over par round and stand in a tie for third in the first qualifying round of the Southeastern Conference Women’s Golf Championships at the Greystone Golf and Country Club’s Legacy Course.
LSU played the 15th (360 yards, par 4), 16th (337 yards, par 4), 17th (168 yards, par 3) and 18th (478 yards, par 5) in 5-under par to put the No. 3 ranked Tigers in good position to get a spot in the Saturday eight-team match play field as they attempt to win a second consecutive conference title.
LSU’s 4-over 292 was just one shot off of what LSU shot a year ago (291) en route to the second qualifying position in match play. This 4-over was a bit different as after a good start, LSU found itself for a portion of the back nine at 9-over par and near the back of the 14-team league field. But the Tigers took things hole-by-hole and made the most of the finishing four holes.
“We got off to what I would call a good start,” said Coach Garrett Runion. “Hole No. 2 (par 3 over water) is a hole we did not play the best last year. We played it 2-under today which got us off to a good start. The course is playing harder; there are not as many birdies out there. The middle of the round we kind of struggled a little bit, but I was very pleased with the way we finished. That made a big difference. Throughout the year, our first-round scoring average has probably been our highest. We tend to get better as the week goes on. All in all, we are in fine shape and we just need to keep being us and we should be there at the end.”
In the finish, LSU had two birdies on the par 3 17th hole, two of just seven on the day on that hole.
Senior Latanna Stone, teeing it up for the first time since her eighth-place finish in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, bogeyed the 15th hole to fall back to even par after being under par for the day since a birdie at the second hole, but then birdied the final three holes to finish at 3-under 69 and finish in a tie for second with two other golfers, one shot behind the leader, Celina Sattelkau, who had a 4-under par 68.
The Riverview, Florida native had six birdies on her card, two on a front nine 35 and four on a back nine 34 posting. The six birdies was tied for best in the round.
For the Tigers, Aine Donegan birdied three-of-the-final-four holes to post an even par round of 72 as the Irish sophomore transfer in her first SEC Championships had five birdies. She stands in a tie for 13th place.
Senior Ingrid Lindblad posted an even par back nine to finish at 1-over 73 (T18), while junior Carla Tejedo had the other counting score of 6-over 78.
Overall, No. 19 Vanderbilt is the tournament leader after 18 holes at even par 288, two shots ahead of Florida at 2-over 290. Mississippi State and LSU, playing partners on the first day, are third at 292 with Alabama and South Carolina one more shot back at 293. From one to 13 in the standings, there is a separation of only eight shots.
With the two birdies at 17, LSU led the field in par 3 scoring in the first round at 3-under par, two strokes better than Florida, the only other team under par. LSU was second in the field with 15 birdies in the round.
That 3-under on the par 3s came primarily from Stone, who birdied three-of-the-four holes on the par 72 layout.
LSU will go in the second wave of the day beginning at 8:50 a.m. with Alabama and South Carolina. Present weather forecasts in the Birmingham area calls for rain to develop after midnight Wednesday with an 80 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms on Thursday. The highest percentages are in the early morning and late afternoon time periods so the possibilities of getting some play in certainly does exist.
Live scoring for the round will be available on Golfstat.com and updates during the round on @LSUWomensgolf on Twitter.
SEC Women’s Golf Championships
Greystone Golf & Country Club – Birmingham, Alabama
First Round Team Results (Par 288)
1 Vanderbilt 288 E
2 Florida 290 +2
T3 Mississippi State 292 +4
T3 LSU 292 +4
T5 Alabama 293 +5
T5 South Carolina 293 +5
T7 Georgia 294 +6
T7 Auburn 294 +6
T7 Kentucky 294 +6
T10 Tennessee 295 +7
T10 Ole Miss 295 +7
T10 Texas A&M 295 +7
13 Missouri 296 +8
14 Arkansas 306 +18
Top 5 Individuals (Par 72)
1 Celina Sattelkau, Vanderbilt 68 -4
T2 Latanna Stone, LSU 69 -3
T2 Ivy Shepherd, Kentucky 69 -3
T2 Julia Lopez Ramirez, Miss. St. 69 -3
T5 Megan Schofill, Auburn 70 -2
T5 Laney Frye, Kentucky 70 -2
T5 Tillie Claggett, Vanderbilt 70 -2
T5 Taylor Kehoe, Alabama 70 -2
T2 Latanna Stone 69 -3
T13 Aine Donegan 72 E
T18 Ingrid Lindblad 73 +1
T61 Carla Tejedo 78 +6
T69 Edit Hertzman 82 +10
(LSU Athletics Press Release)