Women's Golf at Host LSU Tiger Classic
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE – The LSU women’s golf team, playing its best golf of the season with two wins and two seconds in its last four starts, looks to finish the regular season in top fashion as it hosts 15 other teams in the annual home event, the LSU Tiger Classic, at the University Club.
The Lady Tigers are sixth in the Golfstat.com performance rankings and have been posting consistent numbers in the spring. After closing out the fall with a win at The Alamo Invitational with a 23-under 841 to win in a field of 15, the Lady Tigers then proceeded to finish 2nd of 15 in the Lady Puerto Rico Classic at 19-over par, 1st of 14 teams at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate with 10-over 874 and, most recently, took 2nd in a field of 17 at 15-over par in the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate.
Joining LSU are two other teams in the top 11 of the Golfstat Rankings with Wake Forest ranked 10th and Mississippi State No. 11. UCF is the other top 25 team ranked No. 21. In all nine teams in the field of 16 are ranked in the top 50. The rest of the field includes: Colorado, Denver, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, UNC Wilmington, NC State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, TCU, Tulane and UTSA.
For senior Madelene Sagstrom, the co-champions of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate, her final tour around the home links (which will play at par 72 and just over 6,100 yards) is what she hopes will be the best. She finished third in the Classic as a freshman, tied for second in 2013 and last year, took home a T2 after losing in a playoff to eventual champion Gaby Lopez of Arkansas.
Sagstrom is the active leader in stroke average at 71.05 in the Southeastern Conference and just missed winning two events in a row as she lost in a playoff in the Rucker. But the Swedish senior seems to love the present layout of the U-Club which stiffened the course for the ladies since the tournament returned here in 2011 after one year on the road during renovations.
In nine competitive rounds over the U-Club layout, Sagstrom is 6-under par (E 216 in 2012 and -3 213 in both 2013 and 2014).
“The difference between the player that Madelene was her first three years and is now is her mentality. She’s maturing. She’s grown into a young woman and maturing as a player as well,” said LSU Coach Karen Bahnsen. “I’m really proud of her for that and you see that maturity when she is on the golf course.”
LSU as a team finished fourth last year, finishing at 905, 41-over par, but the Lady Tigers are confident that this will be the year they can get back in the winner’s circle for this event for the eighth time since the annual spring tournament started in 1982 and for the first time since 2005.
Joining Sagstrom in the LSU lineup are sophomore Caroline Nistrup, who tied with Sagstrom for the championship at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, junior Elise Bradley of Mandeville, sophomore Carly Ray Goldstein and junior Nadine Dreher. Freshmen Claudia De Antonio and Sydney Cavin of Baton Rouge round out the Tiger lineup that has been able to play solidly from top to bottom over the last few tournaments.
“The girls are in a really good place mentally and that’s important,” said Bahnsen, who played in the first LSU spring event for the Lady Tigers in 1982. “We had three tournaments in a row. Then I gave us a 2 ½ week rest before this tournament and then there will be 2 ½ weeks before SECs. We tried to spread it out to make sure they are rested. They have practiced really well and they are still in a really good place. It’s just a matter of going out and playing and taking care of our business and not worrying about everything around us.”
LSU won at Fairwood Country Club, the original host location, in 1985, 1986, 1995 and 1998. Three wins came over the original U-Club layout in 2000, 2001 and 2005. The team is excited to play in front of family and friends on a course that is difficult but familiar.
“This golf course is obviously a very tough golf course and we did that intentionally because it makes our team better playing on a difficult golf course day in and day out,” said Bahnsen. “This course really prepares you for tournament golf. We hit all kind of difficult shots. You have to think; you can’t fall asleep on this golf course. So, that’s nice. There are two sides to being the home team. Sometimes you put pressure on yourself; but, you know where to hit it and where not to. You have to go play the golf course, just execute well and not fall asleep at the wheel, you are going to be okay.”
Tee times begin Friday for the first of three rounds in the 54-hole event at 8:30 a.m. off the first and 10th tees. LSU will go in the final wave off hole 1 beginning at 10:10 a.m. playing with Wake Forest and North Carolina. Admission for the event is free.
The second round on Saturday will be at the same times with Sunday’s final round an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start to conclude the tournament.
Live scoring for the event can be found at LSUsports.net through Golfstatresults.com and updates during the round can be found at www.Facebook.com/LSUwomensgolf and on Twitter @LSUwomensgolf.