LSU's Kim Meck shot 1-over 73
Photo by: LSUsports.net, LSU Athletics Publications
Blumenherst, Duke Win LSU/Cleveland Classic
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Published: March 18, 2007, 12:00 AM (CT)
Updated: October 29, 2009, 03:24 AM (CT)
by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports), LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE -- For number one women's golf team Duke, the LSU/Cleveland Golf Classic title is something they hope will serve as a good prelude to a return visit in May, while individual champion Amanda Blumenherst found a putter that caused her to create a little University Club history as the three-day tournament came to an end Sunday at the LSU home course.

Even LSU Coach Karen Bahnsen left the Club feeling a little better about her team as her 29th-ranked Lady Tigers played their best round of the weekend and perhaps one of their best of the spring season.

Duke posted a solid round of two-under par 286 as the two-time defending national champions did nothing that allowed No. 6 Auburn and No. 7 Vanderbilt to move past them. In fact, Vanderbilt finished strong, also shooting a two-under par 286 to move past Auburn into second as the defending Cleveland champ Auburn Tigers posted a 290, two-over in the final round. It was the second straight year that the first two teams posted similar under par scores.

Duke finished with a 54-hole total of eight-over par 872 (298-288-286) with Vanderbilt six shots back at 14-over 878 (294-298-286). Auburn was one shot back at 15-over 879 (299-290-290).

The prelude of course for Duke and most of the teams is the NCAA East Regional in May at the University Club. The Blue Devils should be the No. 1 seed for that event..

"It's good to have a winning experience on a course that we might come back to in a regional," said Duke Coach Dan Brooks. "(The course) was playing long. It was a bit wet and it was a challenge. It was some exciting golf coming in for all three teams (Duke, Vanderbilt and Auburn). That was as good of golf as I've seen in a long time."

Duke's 872 tied for the third lowest 54-hole total in a women's event at the University Club. Auburn shot 872 in finishing second in the 2002 NCAA Regionals and in winning the 2001 LSU/Cleveland Classic. The 2002 Duke team has the all-time low 54-hole total at the Club of 859 in the 2002 regionals.

Blumenherst, a sophomore and the No. 1 player in the country, was ahead of the pace of the six-under club women's record total of six-under par first set in 2002 by former Duke player Leigh Anne Hardin in the regionals and equaled last year by Jacqui Concolino of Vanderbilt. She entered the final round at seven-under par and after her back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12 became the first women's player to push the total to double figures at 10-under par. It was a bogey on the 54th hole that left her still with an easy win and a University Club record of nine-under par 207 (68-69-70).

"She was really great this weekend," Brooks said. "She's hitting it well and actually switched putters not long ago. I think that's had a lot to do with her playing well in our last three wins. She switched back to a putter that she had been using before and she's feeling more comfortable on the greens right now."

"I played solid all weekend," said Blumenherst. "My putts were falling and also I was hitting the ball pretty well. So I just went out and had some fun and played one shot and one hole at a time."

The Lady Tigers of LSU entered the final round in 11th place after four wind blown holes on Friday cost them multiple shots and put them in a deep hole. But Bahnsen's team after an average round on Saturday played loose and free and posted the fourth best round of the day of 294 and moved up to eighth spot. That eighth spot could prove important against a field that won't be as strong as this one if they made that spot in the NCAA regional as that would be the final qualifying spot to the NCAA Division I Women's Championships.

"We started the first nine holes of the tournament (Friday) and made the turn in great shape (plus 3 and in second)," said Bahnsen. "We made the turn and just gave it away in four holes. We had another rough four-hole stretch (Saturday), so it was just a matter of the girls not pulling it together for the entire round both days. It's not that they weren't trying, I just think they were trying too hard."

Sunday, three LSU players -- Rebecca Kuhn, Alexis Rather and Kim Meck -- posted one-over 73s and senior Melissa Eaton got her game going better with a three-over 75 to finish at 294 and 42-over 906 (307-305-294) for the tournament.

"We stressed just trying to get them to relax and stay in the present," said Bahnsen. "I think they did a better job of that. Are we disappointed with the finish? Sure we are, but you've got to look at the positives. We played better this last day. We're getting ready for regionals to have it here, and I think this weekend was good for them. We're going to keep pushing them to get better and hopefully they can build on what they did. The first two days were frustrating, I won't lie about that. But I was glad to see that they had some guts to step up and play better (Sunday)."

Blumenherst, who led the tournament with 13 birdies and six-under on the par fives, won the individual competition by eight shots over Nicole Hage of Auburn (72-72-71), Amanda Mathis of Mississippi State (71-69-75) and Marci Turner of Tennessee (73-71-71) who all shot one-under scores of 215.

The Lady Tigers won't have much time to recharge from the event as they leave Wednesday for another spring classic, the Liz Murphey Intercollegiate, hosted by Georgia, Friday through Sunday.

LSU/Cleveland Golf Classic

Final Team Results (Par 288-864)
1. Duke 298-288-286 -- 872 +8; 2. Vanderbilt 294-298-286 -- 878 +14; 3. Auburn 299-290-290 -- 879 +15; 4. Tennessee 298-299-295 - 892 +28; 5. Alabama 301-298-300 -- 899 +35; 6. North Carolina 299-306-297 -- 902 +38; 7. Wake Forest 310-294-301 -- 905 +41; 8. LSU 307-305-294 -- 906 +42; 9. South Carolina 310-297-300 -- 907 +43; 10. Louisville 306-299-306 -- 911 +47; 11. North Carolina State 308-301-306 -- 915 +51; 12. Virginia 313-300-309 -- 922 +58; 13. Birmingham-Southern 318-297-308 -- 923 +59; 13. Charleston 309-308-306 -- 923 +59; 15. Augusta State 314-304-309 -- 927 +63; 16. Mississippi State 315-304-309 -- 928 +64; 17. Furman 318-308-309 -- 928 +64; 17. Furman 318-308-309 -- 935 +71; 18. UNC Wilmington 321-310-305 -- 936 +72; 19. Memphis 326-318-306 -- 949 +85; 20. Kentucky 330-319-312 -- 961 +97; 21. Mississippi 325-323-315 -- 963 +99

Individual Top 25 (Par 72-216)
1. Amanda Blumenherst, Duke, 68-69-70 -- 207 -9; 2. Nicole Hage, Auburn, 72-72-71 -- 215 -1; 2. Amanda Mathis, Miss. State, 71-69-75 -- 215 -1; 2. Marci Turner, Tennessee, 73-71-71 -- 215 -1; 5. Brooke Goodwin, Vanderbilt, 74-74-69 -- 217 +1; 6. Jacqui Concolino, Vanderbilt, 69-74-75 -- 218 +2; 6. Marisa Milligan, Auburn, 75-70-73 -- 218 +2; 8. Lauren Doughtie, North Carolina State, 72-72-75 -- 219 +3; 8. Candace Schepperle, Auburn, 74-73-72 -- 219 +3; 8. Mandy Goins, Wake Forest, 73-72-74 -- 219 +3; 11. Cindy LaCrosse, Louisville, 74-72-74 -- 220 +4; 12. Jenna Pearson, South Carolina, 71-76-74 -- 221 +5; 12. Leah Wigger, Virginia, 75-71-75 -- 221 +5; 14. Katie Miller, North Carolina, 71-76-75 -- 222 +6; 14. Angela Oh, Tennessee, 74-74-74 -- 222 +6; 14. Nicole Smith, Tennessee, 74-77-71 -- 222 +6; 14. Sydney Crane, North Carolina, 75-74-73 -- 222 +6; 14. Jill Stupiansky, Birmingham-Southern, 73-72-77 -- 222 +6; 19. Liebelei Lawrence, Vanderbilt, 80-75-68 -- 223 +7; 19. Jennie Lee, Duke, 78-75-70 -- 223 +7; 21. Carmen Perez, UNC Wilmington, 75-81-68 -- 224 +8; 21. Alison Whitaker, Duke, 78-75-71 -- 224 +8; 21. Anna Grzebien, Duke, 74-73-77 -- 224 +8; 21. Lauren Hunt, North Carolina, 73-76-75 -- 224 +8; 21. Blair Lamb, Furman, 77-73-74 -- 224 +8; 21. Jenny Suh, Alabama, 74-75-75 -- 224 +8; 21. Sarah Sturm, Alabama, 77-75-72 -- 224 +8.

LSU Scores
T28. Rebecca Kuhn     77-75-73 -- 225 +9
T31. Alexis Rather        76-77-73 -- 226 +10
T49. Melissa Eaton       79-77-75 -- 231 +15
T54. Kim Meck           82-78-73 -- 233 +17
T66. Caroline Martens  75-76-85 -- 236 +20
89. Nicola Eaton          81-81-81 -- 243 +27
107. Heather Hoffman  92-84-80 -- 256 +40

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