BATON ROUGE – The LSU Lady Tigers hit a couple of rough spots on its opening tour of its home University Club layout Friday and stands in eighth after the first round of the LSU Tiger Golf Classic after the first of three rounds of play.
But for LSU junior Lindsay Gahm, the race for an individual title will include her in the mix as the tournament heads to Saturday’s second round after an even par round of 72 on the 6,300-yard layout that puts her just one shot out of a group of three that posted a 1-under 71.
Gahm, from Louisville, Ky., birdied the long par 5 third and par four fourth holes and was the first golfer to reach 2-under par. She turned at 1-under and again pushed 2-under on the 14th hole. But bogeys on the 15th and 17th holes left her at even par for the day.
Among those in the lead at 1-under is Tennessee senior Erica Popson, of Davenport, Fla., who is the defending co-medalist in the tournament. Popson, the highest ranked player in the Golfstat rankings entering the event at No. 14, also had it to 2-under three times before a bogey on 18 dropped her back. Popson was the top scored of the day on the par 5s, playing the four holes in 4-under par.
Also at 1-under par on the opening day was Tulane’s Maribel Lopez Porras and Arkansas’ Gabriela Lopez. Porras used a birdie on the seventh hole (her 16th of the day) to get under par for the round, while Lopez used back-to-back birdies on the sixth and seventh holes.
On a day when the average score on a day that was predominantly overcast with some misting rain at times and wind, was almost 79 (78.95), Arkansas took advantage of shooting just 4-over on the par 4 holes to take a five-shot team lead after the first round after shooting a 5-over round of 293. The 2011 champions of the event, are clear of Tulane, which posted a 10-over round of 298. Two-time champion TCU and four-time champion Florida State are tied for third at 13-over 301.
LSU’s team found problems on the course in the opening three holes of its round, going eight over on what would be its counting scores, but righting things to finish the front nine at eight over in the thick of the battle. The 30th-ranked Lady Tigers played the first five holes of the back nine in just three over, but lost seven shots at the end of the round to drop back in the field.
Defending team champion Tennessee is just one shot ahead of LSU in seventh place at 17-over par.
Only two holes on the day failed to see a double bogey on someone’s card and there were 38 others posted in the round.
Tulane’s other counting scores were a 2-over from Madison Opfer, a 4-over 76 from Gemma Dryburgh and a 77 from Emily Penttila.
ULM is in 13th place in the 14-team field at 35-over 323. Their leading score came from Valentine Loge who had a 77 and Alison Knowles who posted 78.
The second round, scheduled for Saturday, has been changed from a tee time start to an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start because of the forecast of potential weather in the afternoon. That means all teams will play at the same time. The final round on Sunday because of travel will also have its usual shotgun start.
Admission at the U-Club is free of charge.
Follow LSU women’s golf on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LSUwomensgolf and on Twitter @LSUWomensGolf. Live scoring for the second round of the Classic can be found at LSUsports.net through birdiefire.com and golfstatresults.com.
LSU Tiger Golf Classic
University Club (Baton Rouge, La.)
First Round Team Results (Par 288)
1. Arkansas 299 +5; 2. Tulane 298 +10; 3. Florida State 301 +13; 3. TCU 301 +13; 5. North Carolina State 302 +14; 6. Kentucky 304 +16; 7. Tennessee 305 +17; 8. LSU 306 +18; 9. Missouri 309 +21; 10. Georgia 315 +27; 11. Wake Forest 316 +28; 12. Ole Miss 322 +34; 13. ULM 323 +35; 14. UNC Wilmington 335 +47.
Top 20 Individuals (Par 72)
1. Maribel Lopez Porras, Tulane, 71 -1; 1. Erica Popson, Tennessee, 71 -1; 1. Gabariela Lopez, Arkansas, 71 -1; 4. Jessica Negron, Florida State, 72 E; 4. Lindsay Gahm, LSU, 72 E; 4. Sanna Nuutinen, TCU, 72 E; 4. Emily Tubert, Arkansas, 72 E; 8. AJ Newell, Tennessee, 73 +1; 8. Alexandra Bonetti, TCU, 73 +1; 8. Laure Castelain, Florida State, 73 +1; 8. Sarah Harris, Kentucky, 73 +1; Olivia Hullert, Florida State, 73 +1; 13. Amanda Baker, NC State, 74 +2; 3. Madison Opfer, Tulane, 74 +2; Emma Lavy, Arkansas, 74 +2; 16. Cylia Damerau, Kentucky, 75 +3; 16. Ana Menendez, NC State, 75 +3; 16. Vivian Tsui, NC State, 75 +3; 3. Ericka Schneider, Ole Miss, 75 +3; Rachael Taylor, NC State, 75 +3.