BLYTHEVILLE, S.C. -- A disastrous set of situations in just a three-hole stretch knocked the eighth-ranked LSU women’s golf team out of a chance for a top three finish Sunday in the final round of the Southeastern Conference Women’s Golf Tournament at the University Club at Cobblestone Park.
LSU finished in fifth place in the 12-team event, a one-spot improvement from the 2008 finish, but through nine holes it looked like it would be the three teams in the final wave battling for the top three spots.
Seventh-ranked Auburn used a quick early start with three players under par to regain the lead from Arkansas and the Ladybacks and LSU fell into a tie for second three strokes back after six holes. At the turn, Auburn had a three-shot lead on Arkansas with LSU in third seven out of the lead and four out of second with a five-shot cushion on fourth place.
Auburn would hold that lead the remainder of the way, but needed a few shots at 17 and 18 to clinch the win, shooting a one over 285 on the final day to finish at 18-over par 870, eight shots clear of Arkansas at 26-over 878 (12-over on the final day). It was No. 6 Alabama who made the day’s biggest move posting a score of three-over 287 that got them also to 26-over 878, tying for second.
Tennessee shot nine-over on the day to finish in fourth at 29-over 881.
LSU finished with a final round of 15-over 299 and finished fifth with a total of 34-over 886 (301-286-299).
For the second time in three days, LSU struggled in the mid-portion of the back nine, this time on the par 4 12th, 13th and 14th holes, each providing their own unique set of difficulties. But the Lady Tigers found decent shots rolling further than expected on the dried out course into hazards or bad breaks such as Megan McChrystal’s shot on 14 that hit a rock dead flush in a rock banked creek about 125 yards short of the hole that propelled it directly right in to a hazard area. Then her next shot hit the front quadrant of the green, took a strange hop forward and rolled all the way through the green and down a hill into the water.
In all, LSU’s four counting scores were eight-over in that three-hole stretch. The Lady Tigers were five-over in Friday’s first round on 13-14-15, but played the three holes even par on Saturday.
“We didn’t make enough putts to stay with Auburn and Arkansas and just some things happened out there on 12, 13 and 14 that just shows you the golfing gods didn’t go our way (Sunday),” said LSU Coach Karen Bahnsen. “It happens in golf. We are going to home and work on our short game very hard this week. We’ll wait to see where we will be assigned in the regionals and we will be ready for that challenge.”
Auburn’s championship is its seventh, denying Arkansas its first league title in women’s golf.
On the individual side, Georgia had their eighth player to capture medalist honors in the tournament’s history, this time with Marta Silva who posted a three-under par score of 210 to win after an even par round of 71. Silva was the only player under par for the 54-hole event as South Carolina’s Benedicte Toumpsin was second at one-over 214 after rounds of 72-69-73.
LSU’s best round of the day came from freshman Tessa Teachman who had a three-over 74. Teachman was one of the leaders with 39 pars in 54 holes (72 percent). Teachman finished in a tie for 13th place at seven-over 220 on rounds of 75-71-74. McChrystal, Jacqueline Hedwall and Amalie Valle all shot four-over 75s for the other counting scores, while Caroline Martens had a 76. McChrystal finished in a tie for 17th place and Hedwall a tie for 23rd.
The Lady Tigers now wait for the announcement of the NCAA Regional Pairings and which of the three sites LSU will be sent. Those pairings are announced on April 27. The tournaments will be played May 7-9 with the top eight teams in each going to the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships.
SEC Women’s Golf Championships
Final Team Results (Par 284-852)
1. Auburn 289-296-295 – 870 +18; 2. Arkansas 295-287-296 – 878 +26; 2. Alabama 30-291-287 – 878 +26; 4. Tennessee 295-293-293 – 881 +29; 5. LSU 301-286-299 – 886 +34; 6. Georgia 300-292-295 – 887 +35; 7. Ole Miss 301-298-291 – 890 +38; 8. Florida 307-295-293 –895 +43; 9. South Carolina 299-300-298 – 897 +45; 10. Vanderbilt 304-301-310 – 915 +63; 11. Kentucky 313-297-308 – 918 +66; 12. Mississippi State 318-307-305 – 930 +78.
Top 10 Individuals (Par 71-213)
1. Marta Silva, Georgia, 72-67-71 – 210 -3; 2. Benedicte Toumpsin, South Carolina, 72-69-73 – 214 +1; 3. Mallory Hetzel, Georgia, 73-70-72 – 215 +2; 4. Cydney Clanton, Auburn, 71-75-70 – 216 +3; 4. Kristin Ingram, Arkansas, 73-70-73 – 216 +3; 6. Ginny Brown, Tennessee, 74-72-71 – 217 +4; 6. Lucy Nunn, Arkansas, 70-70-77 – 217; 6. Patricia Sanz, Auburn, 77-69-71 – 217 +6; 6. Jessica Yadloczky, Florida, 72-71-74 – 217; 10. Brooke Pancake, Alabama, 78-71-69 – 218; 10. Candace Schepperle, Auburn, 71-74-73 – 218.
T13. Tessa Teachman 75-71-74 – 220 +7
T17. Megan McChrystal 76-70-75 – 221 +8
T23. Jacqueline Hedwall 73-74-75 – 222 +9
T29. Amalie Valle 77-73-75 – 225 +12
35. Caroline Martens 79-72-76 – 227 +14