Gahm Second, Lady Tigers Fifth at SEC's

by Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Gahm Second, Lady Tigers Fifth at SEC's

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Senior Lindsay Gahm overcame a first-hole double bogey to shoot 1-over par 73 Sunday to finish in a tie for second Sunday in the 2014 Southeastern Conference Women’s Golf Championships at the Greystone Golf and Country Club Founders Course.

Lindsey Gahm posted her second top five of the season and her third career top 10 with a 1-over par finish of 217. Gahm had rounds of 73-71-73. The winner of The Alamo Invitational in the fall for LSU, she was again LSU’s top player for the second straight year in the SECs, finishing in a tie for 11th a year ago on the same course.

It is the best individual finish for an LSU women’s golfer in the SEC’s since Katy Harris finished second in the 2001 SEC Championships at Gainesville, Fla.

“It was just really this golf course,” said Gahm. “You have to manage it. That was my goal to get back in position after my double and I had a lot of holes left. So I wasn’t too worried about it because there are some birdie opportunities.”

While this will be Gahm’s last chance to play the course, her play the last two years over the Founders Course is something she wishes she would have the chance to repeat.

“I wish we’d played here more,” the Louisville native laughed. “It’s a good course for people who draw the ball. A lot of the holes and the whole setup fits my eyes.”

Gahm tied for second with Gaby Lopez of Arkansas who had rounds of 73-72-72 to also finish at 1-over 217. Lopez birdied the par 5 18th hole while Gahm bogeyed the hole for the tie between the two. Gahm had moved into second after making a long birdie putt on the par 5 15th hole.

Gahm finished with 11 birdies, just one behind individual winner Simin Feng of Vanderbilt who had 12 birdies. Gahm played the par-5s at 3-under par and was 2-over on the par 4s.

“(Lindsay) started off the round with a double bogey,” said LSU Coach Karen Bahnsen, “and she didn’t let it rattle her one bit. She kept plugging along and made some great shots. She also made some great saves along the way. I was really proud of the way she kept fighting for it until the end.”

Feng won the tournament breaking away with a 6-under 66 on the final day to finish at 7-under 209 (73-70-66). The freshman was one off the tournament record of LSU’s Harris when she was runnerup in 2001 and Marina Alex of Vanderbilt in 2010 in Tuscaloosa.

The Lady Tigers, entering the day in third and in the final wave of the tournament, had some struggles along the way, shooting 18-over 306 to finish at 34-over par 898 (295-297-306) to finish in fifth place. Vanderbilt, the overnight leader, was never challenged by anyone after shooting 2-under par on Saturday. They followed with a 6-over round of 294 to finish at 15-over 879, winning by 11 shots over South Carolina.

USC made the biggest move of the day, going from sixth to second on the final day after shooting a 2-over round of 290 to finish at 26-over 890. Arkansas, second entering the final round, fell to third at 28-over 892 with Alabama remaining in fourth at 32-over 896, two shots ahead of LSU. Auburn fell to sixth at 900 +36.

LSU, besides Gahm’s 73, counted a 77 from Madelene Sagstrom and 78s from Caroline Nistrup and Carly Ray Goldstein. Sagstrom tied for 14th at 8-over 224 (73-74-77), while Nistrup came in a group tied for 24th at 11-over 227 (76-73-78).

“We put ourselves in position to compete for a championship,” said Bahnsen. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have a very good day (Sunday) and that’s the bottom line. They gave 110 percent, but we just didn’t play good (Sunday). I don’t know if they were just pressing a little bit. But you know it’s a learning experience and I want to use this for us to get ready for NCAA regionals and the championships.”

LSU now will wait for its expected NCAA regional bid which will be announced next week. The regionals will be at three locations, May 8-10.

SEC Women’s Golf Championships
Greystone Golf & Country Club, Birmingham, Ala.

Final Team Results (Par 288-864)
1. Vanderbilt 298-287-294 – 879 +15; 2. South Carolina 301-299-290 – 890 +26; 3. Arkansas 294-297-301 – 892 +28; 4. Alabama 302-293-301 – 896 +32; 5. LSU 295-297-306 – 898 +34; 6. Auburn 296-298-306 – 900 +36; 7. Texas A&M 305-302-301 – 908 +44; 8. Kentucky 313-296-300 – 909 +45; 8. Georgia 302-303-304 – 909 +45; 10. Missouri 303-303-307 – 913 +49; 10. Florida 304-299-310 – 913 +49; 12. Miss. State 321-301-296 – 918 +54; 13. Tennessee 314-293-314 – 921 +57; 14. Ole Miss 313-305-307 – 925 +61.

Individual Top 5 (par 72-216)
1. Simin Feng, Vanderbilt, 73-70-66 – 209 -7; 2. Gaby Lopez, Arkansas, 73-72-72 – 217 +1; 2. Lindsay Gahm, LSU, 73-71-73 – 217 +1; 4. Justine Dreher, South Carolina, 73-74-71 – 218 +2; 5. Maria Torres, Florida, 72-73-74 – 219 +3; 5. Stephanie Meadow, Alabama, 75-71-73 – 219 +3; 5. Janie Jackson, Alabama, 68-75-76 – 219 +3.

LSU Scores
T2. Lindsay Gahm 73-71-73 – 217 +1
T14. Madelene Sagstrom 73-74-77 – 224 +8
T24. Caroline Nistrup 76-73-78 – 227 +11
T44. Ali Lucas 73-79-80 – 232 +16
T69 Carly Ray Goldstein 86-85-78 – 249 +33