NORMAN, Okla. – The LSU women’s golf team opens its 2016 fall portion of the 2016-17 golf season here Saturday in the annual Schooner Fall Classic.
The event benefits the Toby Keith Foundation and the OK Kids Korral.
The tournament, co-hosted by the Foundation and the University of Oklahoma will take place on the par 71 Belmar Golf Club which will play to 5,939 yards for the 54-hole event. There has been a format change because of predicted weather in the Oklahoma area. The teams will now begin at 9 a.m. with a shotgun start and play 36 holes on Saturday.
If the teams can play the third round on Sunday, the event will end on that day. If the teams are unable to play, the final round will move to its original scheduled date of Monday.
The Lady Tigers enter the 12-team event as healthy as they have been in a year with All-America Caroline Nistrup back for her senior season after her junior season was cut short by a fall wrist injury that required surgery.
Nistrup in her first two seasons earned SEC first-team honors and was a 2015 First-Team All-American for her play that included a 12th place finish in the 2015 NCAA nationals. The native of Denmark averaged 72.41 strokes per round in the 2015 season.
It is one of the latest starts for the LSU women’s team in recent memory and the team will only have three events in the fall, moving one of their playing dates to the sprint.
“We are all excited to finally get the show on the road,” said LSU Coach Karen Bahnsen, the dean of Southeastern Conference women’s golf coaches in her 33rd season directing the LSU women’s program. “It’s been a good thing, though. It has given us a chance to settle in. But the girls are just eager to start.”
Joining Nistrup in the lineup is another LSU senior, Sydney Cavin of Baton Rouge, a winner last year at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate. The rest of the lineup features junior Claudia De Antonio of Venezuela, sophomore All-SEC freshman team member Kathleen Gallagher of Greenwood, Mississippi, and freshman Monica Dibildox of Mexico.
Gallagher led last year’s team in stroke average at 74.73.
The Belmar Course has at times surrendered some low scores as Oklahoma State is the defending champ at 14-under par. In 2013, OSU own the championship, but was +28 over. Then junior Madelene Sagstrom of LSU won the individual title at 4-under 206.
“It is a course with a lot of risk-reward type of holes,” said Bahnsen. “The key is driving it well. You have to learn to play smart on some holes and have a good game plan. The girls are good with their ball striking and now it is just coming out and playing some good, smart golf.”
Live scoring for the event is set for birdiefire.com/tournament and the Tigers in the shot gun will start on holes 9-12 paired with Mississippi State and Texas State. The rest of the field includes Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Iowa State, Kansas, Kent State and Notre Dame, joining LSU, host Oklahoma and Lady Tiger playing partners from Mississippi State and Texas State.
Updates during the opening day of the LSU women’s golf season can be found at www.Facebook.com/LSUwomensgolf and on Twitter @LSUwomensgolf.