LSU women’s golf shoots par to stay third in NCAA Women’s Golf Championship

LSU women's golf easily makes it through the first cut of the NCAA D1 Women’s Golf Championship. PHOTO BY: LSU Athletics

CARLSBAD, California – The LSU women’s golf team easily advanced through the first cut of the NCAA D1 Women’s Golf Championship here Sunday at the OMNI La Costa Resort & Spa North Course.

The Tigers are solo third after 54 holes and will easily make the cut to the top 15 teams for Monday’s final round. LSU will be in the final wave with Texas A&M and Stanford in the last round of stroke play Monday afternoon with the Tigers needing to be in the final eight teams to advance to match play starting on Tuesday.

LSU followed up the 1-over 289 on Friday and the school NCAA record low round of 2-under 286 Saturday with a solid, steady round of even par 288 to stand at 1-under 863 after 54 holes. LSU moved up two spots in the standings in the third round with only Stanford posting a lower Sunday team score.

Texas A&M is the 54-hole leader at 10-under par 854 (281-284-289) and Stanford is second at 9-under par 855 (285-285-285).

Clemson is three shots behind LSU in fourth at 2-over 866, while Northwestern is fifth at 9-over par 873.

The cut for the last spots in the Monday field will not be determined until later in the evening but LSU will have a 13-shot margin between the Tigers and what is presently eighth at 12-over par.

LSU did what it needed to do in the third round, as Aine Donegan (71) and Carla Tejedo (70) both again posted under par rounds and Latanna Stone posted 1-over 73 and Taylor Riley 2-over 74. Ingrid Lindblad rallied strong on the front nine, her second nine, playing the last seven holes in 2-under par to come home in 3-over 75.

“It was a very solid round today,” said LSU Coach Garrett Runion. “It was a very disciplined round. Right now we have an even par round and there was only one round better and that was by Stanford. I just thought we played a very complete, competitive toughness round. There were some tough pins and you had to play away from them and put yourself in the right spot. For the most part, we kept big numbers off the scorecard. That’s what has helped us stay near the lead. It was a disciplined round, a consistent round.”

Individually, Donegan and Tejedo are right in the thick of things for a top individual finish as both completed 54 holes at 4-under par 212.

The individual title, which will also be decided on Monday, is led by Adela Cernousek at 12-under par 204 (68-68-68).

Donegan and Tejedo should be no worse than fourth entering Monday’s final round.

Donegan played the back nine, her starting nine in even par with a double bogey and two birdies, but then on the front nine after a bogey on one, birdied the par 3 third, the par 4 fifth and the par 5 sixth before a bogey at eight got her in at 71.

“Today was good. I started off pretty good by making a birdie on a difficult par 3 on the 12th hole, but then hit a double not long after. I’m proud of how I reacted from that with a birdie on the next hole. My chipping kind of saved me today,” Donegan said. “There were some holes I had some tough chips and I pulled them off really well. My short game’s been good this week and I’m really happy with that. I’ve been having fun and just enjoying it this week. Overall, I’m happy to help the team and do anything to help the team get into the Top 8 come Monday. Hoping for another decently solid day and then be ready for match play.”

Tejedo, who opened with two straight rounds of 71, made it one better on Sunday with a clean card that featured two birdies on her first nine of holes – the par 4 14th and the par 4 17th. She then posted nine straight pars to get home in 70.

“I’m very pleased with the way we’re competing and the way we’re settling down with this tricky course. We’ve managed as a team, and I’ve personally figured out how to play it,” said the senior in her fourth and final NCAA championship. “I see us going up from here since we’re improving every round. I’ve been playing pretty well. I knew coming in to this week that I was hitting the ball how I was wanting to hit it; it was just a matter of time and confidence for me to step up my game. To do it here, it’s great and special.”

“Aine played unbelievable (Saturday) and this morning on the range I told her the worst thing you can do is try harder. It’s easy to look at the leaderboard and see how much you moved up,” said Coach Runion. “I said keep being you and be patient. For her to back it up on another under par round was great. She looked very comfortable out there. She was in the zone and very focused.

“Carla is looking as good as I’ve ever seen her. She is very confidently, making putts and hitting some great shots. She mentioned in the practice round she likes this course a lot,” the sixth-year LSU head coach said.”

The most impressive thing about LSU’s even par score is that through the first 112-of-156 rounds finished, the stroke average for the field is 76.46, the highest of the three rounds.

Stone is also having a good three-days, following her opening 1-under 71 with rounds of 73-73. Stone moved up some 11 spots by mid-afternoon after her three-birdie round and stands in a tie for 18th at +1 217.

In her post round interview, Donegan wanted to give a salute the youngest member of the LSU lineup sophomore Riley.

“I’d like to give testament to Taylor Riley. She didn’t count three rounds at regionals and she was really down on herself because the national championship is on her home course and she was nervous about playing this. But she stepped up when she needed to step up,” Donegan said. “I’m really proud of Taylor.”

Monday begins the three days of coverage on The Golf Channel and LSU obviously will be in that final wave that will be part of the telecast that begins at 3 p.m. PT (5 p.m. Baton Rouge time). Bob Papa and Karen Stupples will be in the announce booth along with Steve Burkowski. Former college stars Emilia Migliaccio and Julia Johnson will be reporting from on the course.

Results can be found at Golfstat.com and updates during the day @LSUwomensgolf and @LSUKent.

LSU Scores (Positions as of 4 p.m. PDT)
T4 Carla Tejedo – 71-71-70 – 212 -4
T4 Aine Donegan – 74-67-71 – 212 -4
T18 Latanna Stone – 71-73-73 – 217 +1
T89 Taylor Riley – 77-75-74 – 226 +10
T119 Ingrid Lindblad – 73-81-75 – 229 +13

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