AUGUSTA, Ga. (BRPROUD) – LSU’s Latanna Stone fired a solid round of even par over the famed Augusta National Golf Club layout Saturday to finish solo eighth in the rain-delayed final round of the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Stone fired a three-birdie round of 72 and was one of just six players on the final day to shoot even par or lower in a round that was delayed some three hours and 20 minutes by a storm that blew through the Augusta area late in the morning that forced the Club to evacuate the patrons from the premises.
While the round, which started some 35 minutes after daybreak, was started in cloudy and windy weather, the day finished in front of a large returning crowd under bright sunshine but still blowing conditions.
Stone completed the four-day, three-round event at even par 216 after rounds of 73-71 at Champions Retreat and a 72 at Augusta National. In two tries at the event, she has now shot 216 both years with two 72s at Augusta National. In those two appearances, she finished T2 and solo 8.
Stanford’s Rose Zhang, who held a five-shot lead entering the final round, would end up in a playoff with Jenny Bae of the University of Georgia, at 9-under par. Zhang was able to secure the win with a par on the second playoff hole, the 10th, after both players parred the opening hole of sudden death, the 18th.
Stone birdied the par four fifth and seventh holes on the first nine to get back to even par and then after a bogey on 10, would birdie the famed par 3 16th hole for the second year in a row to shoot 36-36.
Stone’s birdie on the fifth hole was one of just four on the round and on the seventh, she had one of five birdies on the day. There were eight birdies on the 16th hole.
“I feel like I played well out there and had fun. I was just taking it all in. My round started out a bit rough, but I made some birdies. I hung in there,” said Stone.
Stone finished Amen Corner and posted a par on the par 5 13th when the horn sounded at 9:30 a.m. CT after playing for just short of three hours.
I started hitting it better after the rain delay,” Stone said with a smile. “Maybe I just needed a little rest.”
The players were allowed time on the practice grounds before returning to play at 12:50 p.m. CT.
“This week I played well and I had fun,” said Stone summing up her week. “I finished up in the leaderboard. I was going out with no pressure and enjoying it and having fun being at Augusta National.”
Coach Garrett Runion and the entire LSU women’s golf team was on hand for the final round, arriving in Augusta Friday night and Coach Runion knows that it is a special thing to have multiple players who play for or have played for LSU in this elite field. This year Stone was joined by senior Ingrid Lindblad and junior Carla Tejedo.
“I remember the first year we didn’t have anyone in this tournament and I thought it would be really special if we had someone representing LSU in this event,” said Coach Runion. “Fast forward now, we’ve had at least one player the last three years and this year to have three current players and a former player (Kendall Griffin, now an assistant at Indiana) here is really special and it shows how far the level of our program has come where not only do they want to be here, but to compete and try and win.”b
The Tigers will now return to school competition and will begin preparations for the post-season and the Southeastern Conference championship which begins on Wednesday, April 12, in Birmingham, Alabama. Both LSU and Lindblad are the defending champions in the event.
(Per LSU Press Release)