Well-Played Regional Continues at U-Club; LSU in 11th

LSU's Rebecca Kuhn shot 1-under-par 71
LSU's Rebecca Kuhn shot 1-under-par 71
LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE -- The board showed the LSU Lady Tigers with a two-day total of six-over par 582 in the NCAA East Women’s Regional golf tournament Friday at The University Club.

After an opening round of one-under par 287, the Lady Tigers came back and posted a seven over 295 giving LSU the fifth lowest 36-hole total in the team’s nearly 30 years of existence. Add to the fact that LSU was averaging 303.1 a round this season and one would thing the 28th-ranked Lady Tigers would be in great shape for a qualifying spot for the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships in Daytona Beach, May 22-25.

But seeing would be deceiving as LSU fell out of the top eight into a tie for 11th place going into Saturday’s final round for the 21 teams and three individuals trying to make it to the Championships. There are just six strokes separating LSU from eighth place and in a tournament that had the leader board at times registering birdies at a rapid-fire pace, no one’s position is very safe.

UCLA, the second seed in the tournament, is the tournament leader at 12-under par 564 after a five-under round of 283 followed Thursday’s seven-under 281. The Bruins are 12 shots clear of the cut line with a total seven shots better than the University Club women’s collegiate 36-hole team record of 571 shot by Duke in the 2002 NCAA Regionals.

Wake Forest is second after a second straight four under 284 at eight-under par 568, four ahead of Duke. The top seed and two-time defending national champion rocketed back to the front Friday after a seven-under 281 to stand at four-under 572.

The big surprise of this regional remains 17th-seeded Furman, who for the second straight day stayed solid and handle the recognition factor of now being one of the chased and stands at two-under 574 in fourth place. Purdue, Auburn (282 on Friday) and Louisville are tied for spots fifth through seventh at one-under 575 and Alabama at even par 576 holds the precious eighth and final qualifying spot.

Alabama knows the territory of eighth spot, having won a playoff just a year ago at the NCAA East Regional to advance to the 2006 Championships in Columbus, Ohio.

South Carolina and Texas A&M are just outside the top eight in a tie for ninth place at three-over par, with LSU and Virginia at six over.

The advantage for those four teams is that they will all tee off with the leaders in the morning wave as the top 12 teams play first. Virginia in 13th place at seven-over par probably has the only shot of the afternoon wave to make a run and keep people waiting around to see how it finishes.

LSU controlled its round well at moments when it looked like it might get away from them, dropping just a 4-over 76 in its counting scores. LSU was 6-over par after playing the front nine and stood 8-over after 12 before playing the final six holes in one under.

“We really didn’t play any differently than Thursday. The only difference was that we did not have a few putts drop,” said LSU Coach Karen Bahnsen, whose team is trying to make it the NCAA Championships for the second straight year and for the ninth time since 1982. “I think it is a matter of going out (Saturday) and playing aggressively. I think we are very capable of that.

“There is no telling what the final number might be right now,” said Bahnsen. “A lot of things have happened in the final round of these regionals. The girls still are confident that they can do something special here and who’s to doubt them. Let’s tee it up and see what happens Saturday and I hope a lot of our friends will come out and root us on.”

The individual competition is also a golfing showcase of college stars as 19 players are under par after 36 holes led by Sydnee Michaels of UCLA who followed up her course record tying 66 on Thursday with a 68 on Friday to stand at 10-under par 134. She is two shots clear of Nannette Hill of Wake Forest at eight-under 136 who is another shot clear of Cindy LaCrosse of Louisville at 137.

Also, two golfers who are not part of the eight team qualifiers also advance to the national championships and individual qualifier Aruke Felgueroso of Coastal Carolina is in good shape to advance at six-under 138, in a group tied for fourth place.

LSU’s Melissa Eaton followed up her 68 on Thursday with a 74 and stands at two-under 142, good enough for a tie for 14th place. Rebecca Kuhn after a one-under 71 on Friday is at even par 144, in a group tied for 20th.

The top three teams (UCLA, Wake Forest and Duke) will tee off at 8:10 a.m. on Saturday, with LSU going off in a wave with Texas A&M and North Carolina at 9 a.m. off No. 10 tee. Admission is free for the event and live scoring throughout the day is available at www.golfstat.com or through a link on www.lsusports.net.

NCAA East Regional Women’s Golf Championships
Baton Rouge, La. The University Club

Second Round Team Results (Par 288-576)
1.UCLA 281-283 564 -12; 2. Wake Forest 284-284 568 -8; 3. Duke 291-281 572 -4; 4. Furman 284-290 574 -2; 5. Purdue 285-290 575 -1; 5. Purdue 285-290 575 -1; 5. Auburn 293-282 575 -1; 5. Louisville 286-289 575 -1; 8. Alabama 287-289 576 E: 9. South Carolina 290-289 579 +3; 9. Texas A&M 291-288 579 +3; 11. North Carolina 290-292 582 +6; 11. LSU 287-295 582 +6; 13. Virginia 295-288 583 +7; 14. Florida State 292-298 590 +14; 15. Birmingham-Southern 297-295 592 +16; 16. Charleston 292-303 595 +19; 17. South Florida 306-294 600 +24; 18. North Carolina St. 302-303 605 +29; 19. Western Carolina 301-308 609 +33; 20. Jacksonville State 324-301 625 +49; 21. Jackson State 329-325 654 +78.

Individual Top 25 (par 72-144)
1.Sydnee Michaels, UCLA, 66-68 134 -10; 2. Nannette Hill, Wake Forest, 66-70 136 -8; 3. Cindy LaCrosse, Louisville, 69-68 137 -7; 4. Kathleen Ekey, Furman, 67-71 138 -6; 4. Aruka Felgueroso, Coastal Carolina, 68-70 138 -6; 4. Caroline Westrup, Florida State, 69-69 138 -6; 4. Tiffany Joh, UCLA, 70-68 138 -6; 4. Nicole Hage, Auburn, 68-70 138 -6; 9. Adrienne White, Louisville, 66-73 139 -5; 10. Leah Wigger, Virginia, 71-69 140 -4; 10. Danielle McVeigh, Texas A&M, 69-71 140 -4; 12. Ashley Knoll, Texas A&M, 71-70 141 -3; 12. Stephanie Oukeo, Purdue, 70-71 141 -3; 14. Melissa Eaton, LSU, 68-74 142 -2; 14. Anna Grzebien, Duke, 71-71 142 -2; 16. Blair Lamb, Furman, 71-72 143 -1; 16. Jenny Suh, Alabama, 69-74 143 -1; 16. Amanda Blumenherst, Duke, 73-70 143 -1; 20. Theresa Paik, Furman, 71-73 144 E; 20. Megan Miller, Charleston, 73-71 144 E; 20. Karlin Beck, Birmingham-Southern, 72-72 144 E: 20. Mandy Goins, Wake Forest, 74-70 144 E; 20. Maggie Simons, Wake Forest, 73-71 144 E; 20. Rebecca Kuhn, LSU, 73-71 144 E; 20. Helena Blomberg, Alabama, 73-71 144 E; 20. Sarah Sturm, Alabama 71-73 144 E; 20. Blythe Worley, South Carolina, 72-72 144 E; 20. Lauren Hunt, North Carolina, 71-73 144 E; Kate Thomas, North Carolina, 70-74 144 E.

LSU Scores
T14. Melissa Eaton       68-74 142 -2
T20. Rebecca Kuhn     73-71 144 E
T47. Alexis Rather        71-76 147 +3
T70. Caroline Martens  75-75 150 +6
T84. Kim Meck           78-75 153 +9



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