BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The LSU women’s golf team finished Friday as the top qualifier for the Southeastern Conference’s match play that begins Saturday at the Greystone Golf and Country Club’s Legacy Course
The third-ranked and defending SEC champion Tigers posted the only under par round on the course at 4-under 284 to finish 54 holes in front of the competition with a three-day total of 6-over 870.
LSU finished 11 strokes ahead of No. 7 Auburn, which shot 4-over 292 Friday with a three-day total of 17-over 881.
LSU will face eighth-seed Ole Miss in the opening quarterfinal beginning at 7 a.m.
“Our goal to start the year was to be in the final pairing of every tournament and so far, we have done that,” LSU women’s golf coach Garrett Runion said. “Our goal was to be the number one seed (at SECs) heading to match play and we have done that. We know that no team has won match play twice since they have gone to the match play format. We know no number one seed has won the match play and so this whole year we have been ‘Why not us?’ Somebody has to do it. Somebody has to break the trend.”
LSU defeated Vanderbilt, Alabama and Florida on the way to the first team championship in 30 years last season.
The Tigers were 9-under on the front nine which played at 77.60 in the rain and win on Thursday in the second round and almost two shots easier in the final round. LSU counted three birdies from Aine Donegan, Carla Tejedo and Latanna Stone on the short 317-yard par 4 and then on the 362-yard par 4 ninth, Donegan, Tejedo and Stone all birdied again and this time Ingrid Lindblad added a short birdie putt to give the Tigers birdies from all four counting players.
LSU had four of the nine birdies registered on the ninth hole on Friday.
LSU had 11 birdies on the front nine holes and finished with 15 total for the round with a tournament best for the three rounds.
LSU had three players finish inside the top six in the final individual standings led by sophomore Donegan posting a 72-71-71 to finish at 2-under par 214 for the 54-hole event. She was two shots out of the individual medalist honors won by Julia Lopez Ramirez of Mississippi State.
Lindblad made it three straight top four finishes in the SEC Championship with a 1-under par 71. She finished the 54 holes at even par 216 (73-72-71).
Stone finished the day with a 3-over 75 to end at 1-over 217 (69-73-75) and finished in a tie for sixth place. The Florida senior lead the field with 14 birdies over the 54 holes.
But the round of the day belonged to junior Carla Tejedo. The native of Spain had four birdies on the front nine holes and then birdies at holes 10 and 11 with just one bogey later in the round to shoot a 5-under 67. She moved up 36 places into a tie for 18th at 7-over 223 (78-78-67).
The eight top ranked teams in the SEC from the Golfstat rankings made the match play with LSU and Auburn followed by No. 10 Texas A&M in third (21-over, 885), with No. 19 Vanderbilt fourth (23-over, 887), No. 5 Mississippi State fifth (26-over 890), No. 21 Florida sixth (27-over 891) with South Carolina and Ole Miss tying for seventh and the final two playoff spots at 30-over 894. South Carolina is ranked fourth and Ole Miss No. 16.
“I think they are all going to be a tough out in match play,” Runion said. “We don’t have to do anything special; we just have to keep being us and hopefully we can get it done.”
The other matches will send Auburn against South Carolina, Texas A&M versus Florida and Vanderbilt and Mississippi State.
The quarterfinals will be followed by the semifinals beginning sometime after 12:30 p.m. or an hour after the completion of the quarterfinals. Those two matches will be televised on SECN+
The championship match is set for 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning on the SEC Network.
SEC Women’s Golf Championships
Greystone Golf and Country Club – Birmingham, Alabama
Final Team Results – Top 8 Advance To Match Play
1 LSU 292-294-284 – 870 +6
2 Auburn 294-295-292 – 881 +17
3 Texas A&M 295-301-289 – 885 +21
4 Vanderbilt 288-308-291 – 887 +23
5 Mississippi State 292-305-293 – 890 +26
6 Florida 290-309-292 – 891 +27
7 South Carolina 293-302-299 – 894 +30
7 Ole Miss 295-309-290 – 894 +30
(South Carolina wins scoring tiebreaker and is seventh seed; Ole Miss eighth seed)
9 Georgia 294-304-298 – 896 +32
10 Alabama 293-309-301 – 903 +39
11 Tennessee 295-311-299 – 905 +41
11 Kentucky 294-307-304 – 905 +41
13 Arkansas 306-312-298 – 916 +52
14 Missouri 296-327-304 – 927 +63
Final Individual Top 5 (Par 72-216)
1 Julia Lopez Ramirez, Mississippi State 69-75-68 – 212 -4
2 Megan Schofill, Auburn 70-69-74 – 213 -3
3 Aine Donegan, LSU 72-71-71 – 214 -2
T4 Ingrid Lindblad, LSU 73-72-71 – 216 E
T4 Marina Escobar Domingo, Florida 71-72-73 – 216 E
3 Aine Donegan 72-71-71 – 214 -2
T4 Ingrid Lindblad 73-72-71 – 216 E
T6 Latanna Stone 69-73-75 – 217 +1
T18 Carla Tejedo 78-78-67 – 223 +7
66 Edit Hertzman 82-79-83 – 244 +28