LSU golfers Latanna Stone and Ingrid Lindblad showed again Saturday why they are among the world’s top amateur golfers as both players finished in a tie for second in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur that concluded its final round at Augusta National Golf Club.
The pair both finished 54 holes at even par 216, one shot behind champion Anna Davis at 1-under par 215. Davis, from Spring Valley, California, shot 69 on the final day.
Stone shot a third consecutive 72 on Saturday, while Lindblad posted the lowest round of the day with a 4-under par 68 to get back to even par. Lindblad was one shot off the women’s course record set in the 2019 ANWA.
The ANWA proved to be again a stern golfing test as 30 of the top amateurs in the world advanced from two rounds of qualifying to play at Augusta National and only three golfers posted even par or better for 54 holes.
Stone played in the final group on Saturday looking to continue working her mantra she told interviewers on Friday after her second 72 at Champions Retreat: “keep it simple — fairways, greens, two putt and kind of get off.” That and relying on her local caddie, Rowdy Dunn, also worked well together as the competition moved to one of golf’s most famous 18 holes, Augusta National.
Stone was able to birdie both par 5s (2 and 8) on the first nine along with the ninth hole to turn in 35 and after a bogey at 11, was able to post a birdie on two of the most famous par 3s, the 12th and the 16th with near perfect tee shots. She also birdied the par 5 13th hole which put her 5-under for the tournament on the par 5s at Champions Retreat and Augusta National.
Stone had it as low as 3-under in her round after the 16th hole before the difficult finish over the last two holes.
“I kind of knew where I stood on 17, and I was just thinking par out,” Stone said. “I just didn’t have the right club and kind of left myself with a difficult up-and-down. I was trying to be aggressive and just kind of lost it, but I thought I could get it back on 18 …”
Despite the disappointment, Stone was very appreciative of the crowd supporting her during the final round.
“I’m really overwhelmed. I wasn’t expecting that, and that kind of really brought me to tears. I just have never experienced quite a large crowd like that and have them support me, which I’m going to cherish that forever,” she said. “I’m going to remember walking down there and hearing my name and ‘Go Tigers,’ and all of their support really made me feel a lot better.”
Lindblad, who finished third in her first appearance in the ANWA last year, showed the last round flourish LSU golf fans have seen with her 4-under round on Saturday.
The native of Sweden, who started the day at 4-over par, was even on the round through six holes before a birdie-eagle swing at the par 4 seventh and the par 5 eighth got her back to 1-over.
She bogeyed the 12th at Amen Corner before a birdie at 14 and another incredible eagle at the par 5 15th that at the time put her tied for the tournament lead.
“On 8 I did not hit my driver very well, but — I was able to grip down a 5 wood from the rough on the right side,” she told the media after the round. “I hit it, and I thought it would be 10, 15 yards right of the green, but then I come up on that hill, and there’s a cameraman. Like a camera guy. He is, like, yeah, it came off the slope down towards the pin. Then I see it was two feet from the pin.
“Then on 15 I hit a driver that I think the — what do they call? The patrons. I think they thought it was too far right, but I came down, and it’s middle of the fairway. Had a 7-iron in. Hit it really good. Had a three-or-four-footer for eagle, and it just felt really easy.”
Lindblad improved seven shots on her round from last year at Augusta when she posted a 75. She finished tied for third in that event, one shot out of the playoff for the title.
“Just coming out here first for the chairman’s dinner - last year was my first year here, and I was just amazed by what this place looks like because you only see it on TV, and then you don’t really understand what the course looks like and everything around it,” Lindblad said. “And this year there are so many people here, too. I just feel like it’s a great experience to play because we don’t play with a lot of people. In college we play with a few parents and coaches and some friends maybe, but here it’s like, thousands of people, and it’s just a great experience for the future.”
For the LSU women’s golf team, the future for Lindblad and Stone will be the Southeastern Conference Women’s Golf Championships in Birmingham, Alabama starting on April 13.