RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico - The seventh-ranked LSU women's golf team rallied from a stroke back entering the final round to record its third team victory of the 2011-12 golf season Tuesday, capturing the title of the Lady Puerto Rico Classic by two shots over Georgia.
The event, hosted by Purdue, was played on the River Course at the Rio Mar Country Club.
The victory is the 36th in the 30-plus years of the Lady Tiger golf program at LSU and the 35th team title under the watch of head coach Karen Bahnsen, who was a player on the team's first victory during the 1981-82 season.
The 1996-97 season was the last time an LSU women's golf team won three events and this marks just the fourth time in LSU women's golf history that a team has had at least three team victories during the course of the year.
The win came following a 10-over round of 298 for the Lady Tigers, three shots better than Georgia (301), which has been tied with LSU after the first round Sunday and then one shot ahead entering the final 18 holes. Oklahoma State was in third and Arkansas in fourth starting the final day and neither could make up any ground on the leaders as State posted a 12-over 300 and Arkansas a 302.
LSU finished the event at 20-over par 884 (294-292-298), with Georgia at 886 (294-291-301). Oklahoma State finishing at 26-over 890, two shots better than Arkansas at 28-over 892. The only real mover on the final day was fifth place finisher Northwestern, which moved up from eighth place after a final round 297 (899, +35).
Defending NCAA Champion Austin Ernst recorded her second top five finish of the season, finishing at even par 216 for the 54-hole event and taking solo fifth place (71-72-73). It was her seventh career top 10 finish for the Seneca, S.C. sophomore.
Ernst finished three shots out of the title captured by Marta Silva Zamora of Georgia at three-under 213 (74-66-73), two shots ahead of three golfers at one-under 215 - Emilie Burger of Georgia (66-74-75), Laura Gonzalez of Purdue (75-65-75) and Emily Tubert of Arkansas (71-70-74). Four of the top five golfers were from the Southeastern Conference.
Senior Tessa Teachman got her second top 10 of the season with a strong ninth place finish at five-over 221. The Baton Rouge golfer had rounds of 73-74-74. That was also her seventh career top 10 at LSU.
Swedish freshman Madelene Sagstrom had a three-over 75 in her final round and finished in a tie for 12th at seven-over 223 (73-74-76) while sophomore Lindsay Gahm finished in a tie for 17th place at 224 (75-73-76). Senior Jacqueline Hedwall also shot 76 in the final round.
It will be a quick turnaround for the LSU women's team as they headed home right after receiving the championship trophy and then will leave on Saturday for the Central District Invitational in Parrish, Fla., which begins its 54-hole event with a 36-hole round on Monday.
Follow LSU Women's Golf on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LSUWomensgolf and on Twitter @LSUwomensgolf.
Lady Puerto Rico Classic
Final Team Results (Par 288-864)
1. LSU 294-292-298 - 884 +20; 2. Georgia 294-291-301 - 886 +22; 3. Oklahoma State 300-290-300 - 890 +26; 4. Arkansas 297-293-302 - 892 +28; 5. Northwestern 306-296-297 - 899 +35; 6. Purdue 310-286-305 - 901 +37; 7. Texas Tech 296-298-308 - 902 +38; 8. North Carolina State 302-296-313 - 911 +47; 9. Iowa State 305-309-300 - 914 +50; 10 Kent State 305-309-310 - 924 +60; 10. SMU 310-301-313 - 924 +60; 12. Michigan 310-309-309 - 928 +64; 13. TCU 305-312-316 - 933 +69; 14. Nebraska 309-314-312 - 935 +71; 15. Penn State 321-308-315 - 944 +80.
Individual Top 5 (Par 72-216)
1. Marta Silva Zamora, Georgia, 74-66-73 -213 -3; 2. Emilie Burger, Georgia, 66-74-75 - 215 -1; 2. Laura Gonzalez, Purdue, 75-65-75 - 215 -1; 2. Emily Tubert, Arkansas, 71-70-74 - 215 -1; 5. Austin Ernst, LSU, 71-72-73 - 216 E.
5. Austin Ernst 71-72-73 - 216 E
T9. Tessa Teachman 73-74-74 - 221 +5
T12. Madelene Sagstrom 75-73-75 - 223 +7
T17. Lindsay Gahm 75-73-76 - 224 +8
T33. Jacqueline Hedwall 75-79-76 - 230 +14
T59. Katrina Hegge 73-84-82 - 239 +23