Luis Gagne fired rounds of 69 (-1) in the morning & 68 (-2) in the afternoon for 3-under par!
Gary McCullough

Men's Golf Fourth in SEC Championship Opener

Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Associate SID

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Sophomore All-American Luis Gagne wrapped up Friday’s opener at the 2017 SEC Men’s Golf Championships in a tie for fourth place individually at 3-under par for the day to lead No. 3 LSU into sole possession of fourth place in the team standings at 2-over par at Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course.

With their two-round total of 2-over par 562, The Tigers ended the day seven shots off the pace for the No. 1 seed in match play as Texas A&M claimed the 36-hole lead with a score of 5-under par 555.

Vanderbilt finished the day two shots back in second place at 3-under 557, while Florida trailed in third place at 2-under 558 and both Alabama and Missouri followed LSU in a tie for fifth place at 3-over 563. Auburn held onto seventh place after 36 holes with a score of 5-over 565, while South Carolina rounded out the Top 8 in eighth place at 9-over 569.

Teams will play a final round of stroke-play qualifying Saturday with the field being cut to eight teams for single-elimination match play beginning Sunday. The quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of match play will be held Sunday with the SEC Championship Match following Monday at the Seaside Course.

Gagne Guides Tigers

Gagne was the top Tiger on the day as he followed a 1-under 69 in the morning with a 2-under 68 in the afternoon to finish Friday’s opener four shots back in a four-way tie for fourth place on the leaderboard.

In his opening round, Gagne battled back from a double bogey at the par-four fifth that moved him to 1-over par and made the turn at 1-under with back-to-back birdies at the par-four eighth and par-four ninth holes. He made it three-straight with a birdie at the par-four 10th and finished at 1-under par for his round to tie for 10th place following a bogey at the par-four 13th.

Gagne followed with four birdies and two bogeys in the afternoon for a team-low 2-under 68 on the day to move six spots up the leaderboard and into a tie for fourth place with a 36-hole score of 137.

Florida’s Alejandro Tosti grabbed a one-shot lead over Vanderbilt’s Patrick Martin in the race for medalist honors with a leading score of 7-under par 133, including a tournament-low 6-under 66 in the first round. Sitting in third is Ole Miss’ Braden Thornberry at 5-under par for the tournament, followed by Gagne, Georgia’s Greyson Sigg and Texas A&M’s Cameron Champ and Chandler Phillips in a tie for fourth at 3-under par.

Top 20 Tigers

Freshman Philip Barbaree made his SEC Championships debut on Friday and fired consecutive rounds of even-par 70 to follow Gagne in a tie for 16th place overall with a two-round total of 140. Barbaree canceled a total of four birdies with two bogeys and one double bogey in the morning before evening out one birdie with one bogey in the afternoon to finish his day at even-par.

Sophomore All-American and Ben Hogan Award finalist Sam Burns arrived at this year’s SEC Championships riding a streak of 12-straight top-10 finishes in each of his 12 previous starts this season. He closed out the day two shots outside the Top 10 of the leaderboard in a tie for 18th place at 1-over par as he followed a 1-under 69 in the first round with a 2-over 72 in the second round.

Rounding out LSU’s lineup on the first day of the competition were senior Eric Ricard in a tie for 32nd place at 4-over par 144 and senior Brandon Pierce in a tie for 50th place at 9-over par 149 through 36 holes.

Saturday’s Tee Times

The Tigers are paired with Alabama and Missouri in Saturday final round of stroke play as they will tee off in the second wave off the front nine beginning at 7:20 a.m. CT. Golfstat will provide live scoring of the event as fans can follow LSU in action throughout the day at http://www.golfstat.com.

SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS – SECOND ROUND RESULTS

TEAM SCORES (Par 560)
1. Texas A&M 273-282 – 555 -5; 2. Vanderbilt 276-281 – 557 -3; 3. Florida 269-289 – 558 -2; 4. LSU 278-284 – 562 +2; T5. Alabama 275-288 – 563 +3; T5. Missouri 284-279 – 563 +3; 7. Auburn 278-287 – 565 +5; 8. South Carolina 283-286 – 569 +9; 9. Ole Miss 282-290 – 572 +12; 10. Georgia 291-289 – 580 +20; 11. Kentucky 292-289 – 581 +21; 12. Arkansas 299-292 – 591 +31; 13. Tennessee 301-294 – 595 +35; 14. Mississippi State 298-298 – 596 +36.

TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 140)
1. Alejandro Tosti, Florida, 64-69 – 133 -7; 2. Patrick Martin, Vanderbilt, 66-68 – 134 -6; 3. Braden Thornberry, Ole Miss, 69-66 – 135 -5; T4. Luis Gagne, LSU, 69-68 – 137 -3; T4. Greyson Sigg, Georgia, 71-66 – 137 -3; T4. Cameron Champ, Texas A&M, 66-71 – 137 -3; T4. Chandler Phillips, Texas A&M, 67-70 – 137 -3; T8. Davis Riley, Alabama, 66-72 – 138 -2; T8. Brandon Smith, Texas A&M, 70-68 – 138 -2; T10. Trace Crowe, Auburn, 70-69 – 139 -1; T10. Keenan Huskey, South Carolina, 69-70 – 139 -1; T10. Gordon Neale, Florida, 65-74 – 139 -1; T10. Hayden Buckley, Missouri, 69-70 – 139 -1; T10. Rory Franssen, Missouri, 68-71 – 139 -1; T10. Matt Gilchrest, Auburn, 71-68 – 139 -1.

LSU SCORES
T4. Luis Gagne, 69-68 – 137 -3
T16. Philip Barbaree, 70-70 – 140 E
T18. Sam Burns, 69-72 – 141 +1
T32. Eric Ricard, 70-74 – 144 +4
T50. Brandon Pierce, 75-74 – 149 +9

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