Women's Golf Advances in Style at NCAA Regional
Communications Sr. Associate
For LSU it is their fourth win of the season, marking the second best season for wins in the history of the program. Only the 1986 team, with five wins, had more championships than the 2011-12 team.
It also qualifies the seventh-ranked LSU Lady Tigers for their 12th NCAA D1 Women's Golf Championships in program history and their third in the last four years. Ten of those 12 have come after advancement from regional play and this will mark the 11th time Coach Karen Bahnsen has taken a team to the D1 Championships.
Last year LSU finished a program best third in the D1 Championships at Bryan, Texas, and then freshman Austin Ernst won the NCAA individual championship as well.
LSU, the second seed in the event, posted consistent rounds of 291, 290 and 292 to finish at 9-over 873, with UCLA finishing with the same total on rounds of 290, 296 and 287.
Coach Karen Bahnsen was ecstatic over the team's finish and saw something in her team that showed her the Tigers were right there again ready to compete for a national championship.
"This team worked so hard for this event," the dean of SEC coaches in her 28th season said. "They are just very confident in what they can do. It was just a case of letting them go play. They played with such confidence. You could see it as the tournament went on. This team is on a mission. They want it and we are where we want to be. I'm so proud of them. They fought all the way."
Plus they had to fight some of the coldest conditions that LSU has had to play in since the NCAA in Albuquerque in 2008 as round one in this regional was played in the mid-80s with rounds two and three played in temperatures in the mid-40s.
LSU's defending NCAA champion, Austin Ernst, third in last year's regional, moved up to second in this year's event with a 54-hole total of 6-under 210 (71-69-70). Catherine O'Donnell of North Carolina matched Ernst with a 2-under 70 and was able to win the individual title with a 7-under 209 (70-69-70).
LSU All-SEC Freshman team member Madelene Sagstrom completed her rally from 54th place after the first round to finish in a tie for eighth place after a 1-under 71 in the final round. Sagstrom had rounds of 76-70-71 to finish at 1-over 217.
On the final day, LSU also counted a 3-over 75 from senior Tessa Teachman and a 4-over 76 from Lindsay Gahm.
Also advancing in the team competition from the West Regional were Pepperdine at 11-over 875, two behind LSU and UCLA, with Colorado in fourth at 13-over 877. Both Pepperdine and Colorado moved into the top eight after the final round, each shooting 9-under rounds of 279. Baylor was fifth with Stanford at 15-over 879 and North Carolina fell to seventh at 16-over 880.
The final qualifying spot wasn't decided until late in the afternoon as Oklahoma from the early part of the afternoon wave advanced from 14th place to the eighth and final qualifying spot with a round of 1-over par 289 to finish at 26-over 890, two shots clear of Texas Tech and California, both at 29-over par 893.
In all, seven SEC teams advanced to the 24-team D1 Championships with South Carolina, Alabama and Florida getting in from the NCAA East Regional and host Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Arkansas in the Central Regional will join LSU from the West Regional.
NCAA WOMEN'S WEST REGIONAL
At Erie, Colo.
Top Final Team Results (Top 8 to National Championships) (Par 288-864)
1. LSU 291-290-292 - 873 +9; 1. UCLA 290-296-287 - 873 +9; 3. Pepperdine 297-299-279 - 875 +11; 4. Colorado 297-301-279 - 877 +13; 5. Baylor 300-293-286 - 879 +15; 5. Stanford 287-293-299 - 879 +15; 7. North Carolina 288-298-294 - 880 +16; 8. Oklahoma 305-296-289 - 890 +26; 9. Texas Tech 300-294-299 - 893 +29; 9. California 296-301-296 - 893 +29; 11. UNLV 302-301-293 - 896 +32; 12. UC Davis 305-295-297 - 897 +33; 13. Tulsa 297-303-299 - 899 +35; 14. Illinois 296-302-302 - 900 +36; 14. TCU 302-304-294 -- 900 +36; 14. Iowa State 302-302-296 - 900 +36; 17. San Jose State 302-298-303 - 903 +39; 18. .New Mexico 303-307-303 - 913 +49; 19. Denver 304-311-300 - 915 +51; 20. Kennesaw State 309-311-304 - 924 +60; 21. Missouri State 314-307-307 - 928 +64; 22. Oregon State 313-318-305 - 936 +72; 23. Northern Colorado 311-324-304 - 939 +75; 24. Jackson State 348-355-327 - 1030 +166.
Top 5 Individuals (Par 72-216)
1. Catherine O'Donnell, North Carolina, 70-69-70 - 209 -7; 2. Austin Ernst, LSU, 71-69-70 - 210 -6; 3. Hayley Davis, Baylor, 69-74-69 - 212 -4; 4. Sally Watson, Stanford, 71-71-71 - 213 -3; 5. Chirapat Jao-Javanill, Oklahoma, 72-73-70 - 215 -1.