NEW ORLEANS - The LSU women's golf team, looking to continue to show the improvement they showed late in the fall season, opens play for the spring semester Sunday in the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championships at the English Turn Golf and Country Club.
LSU posted three consecutive rounds under 300 in the final tournament of the fall and looks to continue on a course they are familiar with from past appearances there.
The 54-hole tournament, which because of weather concerns, will begin with a 9 a.m. shotgun round on Sunday, runs through Tuesday over the par-72, 6,105-yard course.
The 2013 field is comprised of 18 teams and features 10 squads ranked among the nation's Top-25 programs, while a total of 16 of the 18 teams are rated among the Top-50 programs in the country. This year's participants includes No. 1 USC, No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Florida, No. 4 Alabama, No. 16 Oklahoma State, No. 17 Purdue, No. 19 Baylor, No. 21 Texas A&M, No. 25 Texas, No. 25 UCLA, No. 31 Tulane, No. 35 Auburn, No. 37 Oregon, No. 41 LSU, No. 43 UTSA, No. 47 Ohio State, No. 67 Tulsa and No. 88 Colorado.
A total of 20 of the nation's top-50 ranked individuals will compete for both the team trophy and individual medalist honors, including 11 golfers among the top-25 in the country. USC is the nation's top-ranked squad heading into the 2013 Championship, while Oklahoma State's Kelsey Vines is the top ranked golfer in the country and she will lead the Cowgirls into action at this year's event.
Duke enters this year's field as the defending team champion. Last year, the Blue Devils fired a 13-over 877 total to edge runner-up Colorado by three strokes. Colorado's Alex Stewart is the defending individual medalist after she fired a 5-under 211 total to top Oregon's Cassy Isagawa by one stroke for the top spot.
Ryan Herrington of Golf Digest ranked the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship as the third-best women's collegiate tournament for the spring season.
LSU will bring a lineup that features sophomore Madelene Sagstrom, freshman Elise Bradley, junior Ali Lucas, freshman Nadine Dreher and sophomore Lindsay Gahm. Sagstrom finished in the top five in her final tournament of the fall and finished the fall with two top 10s and a 72.58 stroke average. Gahm also had a top five in the fall and averaged 75.61. Lucas, who transferred from ULM, also averaged 75 strokes a round in the fall.
"We are really looking forward to getting things going again," said LSU Coach Karen Bahnsen. "We played better as the fall went on and look to continue that improvement. We are excited about starting the season at English Turn and this tournament. It's a course this program is familiar with and we look forward to this opening challenge."
Follow live scoring for the tournament at LSUsports.net through Golfstatresults.com. Follow LSU women's golf at www.Facebook.com/LSUwomensgolf and on Twitter @LSUwomensgolf.