FRANKLIN, Tenn. - The LSU women's golf team is following the lead of another freshman this year after two rounds of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships being conducted at the Vanderbilt Legends Club on Wednesday.
LSU followed Tuesday's 5-over round of 293 with a 6-over 294 to finish 36-holes at 11-over par 587. The leader is fellow SEC member, Alabama, who followed Tuesday's first round of 2-under 286 with a 3-under 285 to stand at 5-under par 571. LSU is in eighth place in the team standings.
The Lady Tigers put themselves in the leader waves in the afternoon on Thursday and has kept themselves in position for a possible trophy finish which is awarded for to the top four teams. LSU finished a program-best third a year ago at the championship in Bryan, Texas. The Lady Tigers will start the third round just five shots out of second, held by defending champion UCLA at 6-over par (292-290).
Sagstrom's even-par round of 72 included two fabulous bogey saves out of a hazard at the 17th (her eighth hole of the day) and buried in a the lip of a bunker on the eighth hole (her 17th) as she finished 36 holes at 2-under par 142 (70-72). The Swedish first-year player stands right in the thick of the individual competition in a tie for sixth place, four shots behind leader Brooke Pancake of Alabama, who has fired rounds of 68 and 70, for a 6-under 138.
Ironically, that was the same halfway score that then freshman Austin Ernst of LSU led with after rounds of 72-66 a year ago.
Pancake has a two-shot lead on second place Giulia Molinaro of Arizona State at 4-under par 140 (69-71) and there is a threesome at 3-under just in front of a group that includes Sagstrom at 2-under par. Katie Burnett of South Carolina, Brittany Marchand of NC State and first round leader Portland Rosen of Virginia are at -3, while Sagstrom is joined by Stephanie Meadow of Alabama at -2.
Like her teammate Ernst showed a year ago as a freshman, Sagstrom shows no fear and an ability to get out of trouble as she showed twice when big numbers were possible.
"She made two all-world bogeys (Wednesday)," Coach Karen Bahnsen said. "She worked hard for it. Plus, Tessa hit it great. She literally got no putts to drop for her today."
"It was tough (Wednesday)," said Sagstrom. "I didn't hit the ball as solidly as I did (Tuesday). I struggled to get the ball on the greens. I struggled to get off the tees. I put myself in a lot of trouble. I just have to be happy with what I shot (Wednesday) and practice and get ready for (Thursday)."
Sagstrom had five birdies and five bogies in her round, including birdies on the par 5 seventh and ninth holes, to cover bogeys on the sixth and eighth holes.
Teachman had a three bogey, one birdie day and stands at 1-under 143 after two rounds (69-74). She stands in a tie for ninth place and in position for a trophy finish as well in the tournament. The NCAA awards individual awards for the first 15 places.
The Lady Tigers played the more difficult back nine first and turned at 5-over and then posted a 1-over score on the front nine. LSU was able to get five of its 12 birdies coming home on the seventh and ninth holes of the day.
"We had a lot of opportunities but we just couldn't get the putts to drop," said LSU Coach Karen Bahnsen as she reaches the halfway point of her 12th appearance for LSU. "I couldn't have asked for a better effort. It's just a matter of getting a few more putts to drop. They were that close - hanging on the lip, going around the hole - just not in the hole. They'll go in. They are hitting good shots and playing smart. We've just got to get a few putts to go in the hole.
"We've got two more rounds of golf," Bahnsen said. "We are very capable of going low. There is so much golf left to play. This team fights to the very bitter end and that's why I love them so much because they are such fighters."
The Lady Tigers also counted an impressive 1-over round from Lindsay Gahm in her first NCAA appearance to stand at 149 after two round, moving up some 16 spots on the leader board to 54th. Austin Ernst and Jacqueline Hedwall both had three-over 75s as Ernst is at 153 for 36 holes and Hedwall at 158.
LSU will be in the final wave of the third round Thursday off the 10th tee at 12:58 p.m. along with Southern California and Purdue.
Live scoring can be found on NCAA.com for the third round and NCAA.com will also begin their webcast of the 9th and 18th holes Thursday at noon. Updates from the course will also be available beginning approximately at 1:40 p.m. on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LSUwomensgolf and on Twitter @LSUwomensgolf and @LSUKent.
NCAA WOMEN'S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
Vanderbilt Legends Club - Franklin, Tenn.
Second Round Team Totals (Par 288-876)
1. Alabama 286-285 - 571 -5; 2. UCLA 292-290 - 582 +6; 2. North Carolina 290-292 - 582 +6; 2. Virginia 288-294 - 582 +6; 5. Arizona State 292-291 -- 583 +7; 5. South Carolina 302-281 - 583 +7; 7. Southern California 297-288 - 585 +9; 8. LSU 293-294 - 587 +11; 9. Purdue 293-295 - 588 +12; 10. Vanderbilt 306-284 - 590 +14; 11. Duke 289-302 - 591 +15; 12. Texas 297-295 - 592 +16; 13. NC State 299-294 - 593 +17; 13. Oklahoma 294-299 -- 593 17; 15. Colorado 297-298 - 595 +19; 15. Florida 302-293 - 595 +19; 17. Pepperdine 306-293 - 599 +23; 17. Texas A&M 301-298 - 599 +23; 19. Baylor 299-304 -- 603 +27; 20. Arkansas 303-301 -- 604 + 28; 21. Michigan State 296-311 -- 607 +31; 21. Tennessee 300-307 -- 607 +31; 23. Ohio State 303-307 -- 610 +34; 24. 309-304 -- 613 +37
Top 10 Individuals (Par 72-144)
1. Brooke Pancake, Alabama, 68-70 - 138 -6; 2. Guilia Molinaro, Arizona State, 69-71 -- 140; 3.Katie Burnett, South Carolina, 74-67 - 141 -3; 3. Brittany Marchand, NC State, 71-70 - 141 -3; 3. Portland Rosen, Virginia, 66-75 - 141 -3; 6. Stephanie Meadow, Alabama 69-73 - 142 -2; 6. Madelene Sagstrom, LSU, 70-72 - 142 -2; 9. Brianna Do, UCLA, 72-71 -- 143 -1; 9. Tessa Teachman, LSU, 69-74 -- 143 -1; 9. Laura Gonzalez, Purdue, 67-76 -- 143 -1; 9. Kimberly Kaufmann, Texas Tech, 70-73 -- 143 -1.
T6 Madelene Sagstrom 70-72 -- 142 -2
T9 Tessa Teachman 69-74 -- 143 -1
T53 Lindsay Gahm 76-73 -- 149 +5
T82 Austin Ernst 78-75 -- 153 +9
T114 Jacqueline Hedwall 83-75 -- 158 +14