Women's Golf Fifth Through Two Rounds at SEC's

by Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
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Women's Golf Fifth Through Two Rounds at SEC's

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The word “pleased” doesn’t quite begin to express the satisfaction LSU women’s golf Coach Karen Bahnsen felt after the second round of the Southeastern Conference Women’s Golf Championships at the NorthRiver Yacht Club Saturday.

Her team posted a six-over round of 290 that puts them in fifth place going to the final round of the tournament on Sunday. But more importantly they are just nine shots out of the lead on a day when putts hung on the rim and failed to drop and the 17th-ranked Lady Tigers were on the verge at times of posting a score possibly well in double digits.

But words Bahnsen uses regularly like “grind” and “focus” were needed to keep the Lady Tigers plugging along.

“It was important because they could have let it get away into some really big rounds. They just kept on plugging away and working hard. Things kind of turned around for them and that’s just a tribute to them not giving in,” said Bahnsen.

LSU’s 36-hole total of six-over 574 trails the first-place tie of Alabama and Vanderbilt at three-under par 565. Alabama posted six under par on the day in looking for their first SEC women’s title, while Vanderbilt moved to second after a three-under round of 281. Arkansas, tied for the lead after the first round with Georgia, shot four-over, and fell back to event at 568, while Georgia shot seven-over to finish 36-holes at 571 three-over par.

After LSU in fifth, comes defending champion Auburn at 10-over 578.

“The difference between (Saturday) and (Friday) was that we just had to work for it a little harder,” said Bahnsen, coaching her 26th SEC women’s championship event. “I’m proud of every one of them because we could have gone south. They fought through it and kept us in there. We are within nine shots (of the lead) and in team golf that’s not much. We are so capable of going low; every single girl on our team is capable of going low.”

The highlight of LSU’s round came late in a 200-yard radius on the course as junior Amalie Valle chipped in from the front bunker on 16. Just a moment later, on the overlooking elevated 17th tee, junior Megan McChrystal stuffed her tee shot to two feet from the flag for a tap-in birdie that would help LSU to a two-over counting score on the final nine holes.

“That just helped the momentum and made us feel better,” said Bahnsen, “because we were all getting frustrated and that was a big lift for us. We left with a good feeling that we can do this.”

Valle posted a round of even par 71 and after 36 holes is in a tie for ninth at one-under 141. She is five shots out of the lead of defending champion Marta Silva Zamora of Georgia and Marina Alex of Vanderbilt who are six-under par 136. Zamora shot rounds of 69 and 67, while Alex posted the tournament’s low round of 65 Saturday to go with an even par 71.

Sophomore Tessa Teachman followed her one-under 70 with a one-over 72 and stands at even par 142 and a tie for 11th place, all despite the lingering effects of battling the high pollen count on the course the last few days. Junior Megan McChrystal posted her second straight one-over 72 to stand at 144, in a tie for 19th and the other counting score of 75 by Jacqueline Hedwall left her at five-over 147 and a tie for 28th.

LSU will play with Georgia and Auburn in the opening wave at 8:30 a.m. Sunday in the final round of the championship followed by the top three teams – Alabama, Vanderbilt and Arkansas. Vanderbilt won its Southeastern Conference title in 2004 in Baton Rouge.

Live scoring for the final round will be available at LSUsports.net through Golfstat.com. Blog updates during the round can be found on Facebook at LSU Women’s Golf and on twitter at twitter.com/@lsuwomensgolf.

SEC Women’s Golf Championships
NorthRiver Yacht Club – Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Second Round Team Results (Par 284-568)
1. Alabama 287-278 – 565 -3; 1. Vanderbilt 284-281 – 565 -3; 3. Arkansas 280-288 – 568 E; 4. Georgia 280-291 – 571 +3; 5. LSU 284-290 – 574 +6; 6. Auburn 289-289 – 578 +10; 7. South Carolina 289-290 – 578 +11; 8. Ole Miss 284-298 – 582 +14; 9. Tennessee 298-291 – 589 +21; 10. Florida 298-300 – 598 +30; 10. Kentucky 302-296 – 598 +30; 12. Mississippi State 309-302 – 611 +43.

Individual Top 5 (Par 71-142)
1. Marina Alex, Vanderbilt, 71-65 -136 -6; 1. Marta Silva Zamora, Georgia, 69-67 – 136 -6; 3. Sara Grantham, Ole Miss, 70-69 – 139 -3; 4. Camilla Lennarth, Alabama 72-68 – 140 -2; 4. Brooke Pancake, Alabama, 74-66 – 140 -2; 4. Erica Popson, Tennessee, 73-67 – 140 -2.

LSU Scores
T9. Amalie Valle 70-71 – 141 -1
T11. Tessa Teachman 70-72 – 142 E
T19. Megan McChrystal 72-72 – 144 +2
T28. Jacqueline Hedwall 72-75 – 147 +5
59. Mary Michael Maggio 82-79 – 161 +19