BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The No. 14 LSU women’s golf team finished strong on the final nine holes Thursday to put themselves in an excellent position going into Friday’s final round of team qualifying at the Southeastern Conference Golf Championships at the Greystone Golf Club’s Legacy Course.
LSU posted 2-under par on the back nine to finish the round at 1-over par 289, a two-shot improvement from Wednesday’s opening round. The Tigers are at 4-over 580 after 36 holes.
Auburn is the leader at even par 576 after back-to-back rounds of 288. South Carolina is one shot ahead of LSU at 3-over par 579 with the Tigers in third place. The LSU is eight shot clear of Florida in fourth at 12-over par 588 with Ole Miss in fifth (+14), Vanderbilt sixth (+15), Alabama seventh (+16) and Mississippi State eighth (+17). Thee more teams are within two shots of the cut line.
“We did not get off to the start (Thursday) we wanted like we did yesterday,” LSU women’s golf coach Garrett Runion said. “But I’m proud of the way the ladies fought back and fought to the very end. All year we have talked about the final five (holes), finishing the final five better than what you are at that point and I think we did that today. We played the par fives better which was good.”
LSU will go in the final wave of the competition at 9:40 a.m. CT with Auburn and Florida to determine the eight final teams for match play starting on Saturday. The individual champion will be crowned Friday evening.
Live scoring can be found on Golfstat.com and updates during the round on the LSU Women’s Golf Twitter account @LSUWomensGolf.
LSU junior Ingrid Lindblad posted a four-birdie, no bogey round to shoot 68 to standing at 4-under par 140 after 36 holes. She is third in the individual competition, which ends after Friday’s final round. Auburn’s Megan Schofill shot a 5-under 67 on Thursday to stand at 7-under 137 (70-67) after 36 holes. She is one shot ahead of Mikayla Bardwell of Tennessee.
Bardwell, who moved up 31 spots in the standings, posted a 9-under 63 on Thursday to stand at 6-under 138, two shots ahead of Lindblad.
Lindblad had birdies at the par 5 third, the par 4 fifth and seventh, and the par 3 13th holes. Lindblad has six birdies and a tournament leading 28 pars.
“I hit 17 greens and the one I missed I got up and down from the bunker,” Lindblad said of her round. “I hit it close, but my first three birdies were like 17-footers. I made putts out there. I didn’t hit it super close, I just made a few putts.”
The round was played in comfortable, less windy conditions following a rainstorm overnight that left all the competitors battling potential mudballs.
“I had a couple of mudballs,” the Halmstad Sweden native said. “You kind of learn where the ball goes. If the mud is on the left side the ball goes right. So, I had two holes where I had to play it out one way and make sure I had the right club and let it funnel the way that the mudball was going.”
“Ingrid makes it look easy,” said Runion. “Weather wise, it was a great day and the wind wasn’t as strong. But with the rain that moved through the course was softer, played a little bit longer and we were getting a lot of mudballs. We weren’t the only team, obviously, to have mudballs, but we had a lot of shots go offline and having to deal with that mentally was one of the bigger challenges of the day, but they handled that well.”
Junior Latanna Stone and senior Jessica Bailey had strong showings with both players getting a 1-over 73. Stone had two front-side birdies to shoot even par 36 and birdied the par 4 16th hole for her finish, while Bailey recovered from a double bogey five on the second hole with birdies on the 10th and 16th holes for her one over score.
For Bailey in her first SEC Championship, it is back-to-back 73s to post 146 for 36 holes and a T11 position in the individual competition with Stone going 74-73 for 147, 3-over par and a T16 position.
LSU’s other counting score came from freshman Elsa Svensson. She rallied to shoot 2-under par in her final 14 holes with birdies on the par 4 14th and an impressive birdie at the par 5 last hole to shoot a 3-over 73. Svensson is T25 at 4-over 148.
Carla Tejedo posted a 4-over 76 on the day and is T30 in the individual competition at 5-over 149.
SEC Women’s Golf Championships
Greystone Country Club Legacy Course
Team Results (Par 288-576)
1 Auburn 288-288 – 576 E; 2 South Carolina 289-290 – 579 +3; 3 LSU 291-289 – 580 +4; 4. Florida 288-299 – 588 +12; 5. Ole Miss 292-298 – 590 +14; 6. Vanderbilt 298-293 – 591 +15; 7. Alabama 302-290 – 592 +16; 8. Mississippi State 305-288 – 593 +17; 9. Kentucky 300-294 – 594 +18; T10. Tennessee 305-290 – 595 +19; T10 Arkansas 296-299 – 595 +19; 12. Texas A&M 299-298 – 597 +21; 13. Georgia 299-299 –598 +22; 14. Missouri 306-309 – 615 +39.