LSU Gold

No. 6 LSU Golf Wins a Fourth Time; Takes Prestigious Darius Rucker

Tournament Host Darius Rucker, the traditional championship guitar and the LSU Tigers

by Kent Lowe
No. 6 LSU Golf Wins a Fourth Time; Takes Prestigious Darius Rucker

BATON ROUGE – LSU won its fourth tournament of the 2022-23 women’s golf wraparound season on Wednesday, winning against the toughest field of the year at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate at the Long Cove Club at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

The No. 6 Tigers rallied from four shots down entering the final round to win against a field that featured five top 10 teams and five other top 20 teams. LSU completed a three-tournament stretch in 17 days that saw the Tigers finish second in the Bahamas, win the Moon Golf Invitational in Florida and then win against this field in the Darius Rucker event.

LSU had twice before finished runner-up in the event but this time was able to move into the lead midway through the final round and never looked back, winning by four shots. LSU shot a 3-over 287 on the final day to finish 54 holes at 6-over par 858 (283-288-287), four shots better than host South Carolina at 10-over 862.

The Gamecocks were 11-over on the final round and finished with scores of 283-284-295.

It was an all-SEC top three as Auburn finished third at 14-over 866 (285-292-289).

The tournament title was LSU’s 52nd of its 40-plus year history and the 11th under Coach Garrett Runion.

And as tournament host Darius Rucker presented the famed guitar trophy that has come to be known in his events, Coach Runion told the Golf Channel’s Steve Burkowski: “It is [the first guitar trophy the team has won]. Actually, our men’s team has won twice at Bulls Bay (a tournament Rucker is also involved in) so I’m glad to get one on the women’s side and put it in our building.”

Of the fourth victory: “I’ve been telling them all year, they’re deep and they’re good. They’re real consistent and that keeps us in a lot of tournaments.”

And, LSU again showed its depth in the lineup with its No. 4 and No. 5 lineup players leading the team with freshman Edit Hertzman coming oh so close to winning the individual championship.

Hertzman, who started the day at even par after rounds of 69 and 73 on the par 71 layout, posted birdies on the par 5 third and the par 3 eighth to get to 2-under for the day and the tournament.

On the back nine, Hertzman then posted birdies on the par 4 11th and 12th holes and then drained a putt on the par 3 12th to get to five under par and the lead in the individual competition. A bogey from a very tricky bunker lie on 17 dropped her back to four under but still an outstanding round of 67, which equaled the lowest of the week by any player in the 90-golfer field.

Hertzman finished at four-under 209, one shot behind individual medalist Mathilde Claisse of South Carolina.

In a Golf Channel interview following the round,” the native of Sweden talked about having LSU Assistant Coach Alexis Rather with her during the final round.

“(Alexis) is just so awesome,” Hertzman said. “She just is really there to boost your confidence and just make sure… I mean, she just makes sure that I know what I’m doing and she is a lot of help too. She’s just amazing.”

On the team’s victory, Hertzman said, “[This win means] a lot. I mean, we have a really good team. So, I’m just so happy that we got the opportunity to show that, and I’m really proud of my team. I just think this was so fun for us to make it all up and win this big thing. It was so cool.”

Sophomore transfer Aine Donegan continued her move up the leaderboard after an opening 76 and a 1-under 70 in the opening two rounds, she came through with a two-birdie round and another 1-under 70 to move up seven spots on the final day to a tie for 13th at 3-over 216.

On Hertzman and Donegan, Runion commented on the Golf Channel: “It’s huge, they stepped up in a big way. This is only Edit’s fifth college golf tournament and she almost won it on a course that is extremely difficult; especially coming down the stretch with the wind. Aine was just steady. I didn’t get to watch too much of them actually because Alexis was with Edit and Aine was just steady Eddy. It really is big when you can count on someone as young, as far as the roster, to play that well. It was big for us.”

LSU’s seniors Ingrid Lindblad and Latanna Stone had LSU’s other counting scores in the play five, count four format with Lindblad getting home in 3-over 74 and Stone at 5-over 76. Lindblad finished just outside the top 10 with a three-day total of 2-over 215 after rounds of 68-73-74 for a tie for 11th.

The Tigers were second in the 17-team field in both par 3 and par 5 scoring, going +2 on the par 3s and -2 on the par 5s. LSU led the field with 40 birdies, six more than any other team in the 54-hole event.

Hertzman was co-low in the field in par 4 scoring at 3-under par, while Lindblad was co-low on par 5 holes at 3-under. Hertzman also led the tournament in total birdies with 13.

The Tigers now have some time off before playing their final regular season event of the spring season, the Clemson Invitational at Sunset, South Carolina, March 24-26.

Darius Rucker Intercollegiate
Long Cove Club
Hilton Head, South Carolina

Final Team Results (Par 284-852)
1 LSU 283-288-287 – 858 +6; 2 South Carolina 283-284-295 – 862 +10; 3 Auburn 285-292-289 – 866 +14; 4 Wake Forest 291-292-284 – 867 +15; 5 Texas 295-286-290 – 871 +19; 6 Arizona State 292-291-289 – 872 +20; 7 Baylor 291-293-289 – 873 +20; 8 Vanderbilt 296-286-293 – 875 +23; 9 Oregon 295-297-285 – 877 +25; T10 Duke 300-290-291 – 881 +29; T10 Georgia 297-293-291 – 881 +29; 12 Northwestern 300-290-292 – 882 +30; 13 Alabama 297-295-291 – 883 +31;  14 Virginia 307-297-286 – 890 +38; 15 Kentucky 305-295-294 – 894 +42; 16 Furman 311-295-292 – 898 +46; 17 Arkansas 307-297-300 – 904 +52

Individual Top 5 (Par 71-213)
1 Mathilde Claisse, South Carolina – 69-69-70— 208 -5
2 Edit Hertzman, LSU – 69-73-67 – 209 -4
3 Rosie Belsham, Baylor – 69-72-71 – 212 -1
T4 Huai-Chien Hsu, Texas – 74-72-67 – 213 E
T4 Jenny Bae, Georgia – 72-70-71 – 213 E
T4 Ashleigh Park, Oregon – 70-72-71 – 213 E
T4 Celina Sattelkau, Vanderbilt – 73-68-72 – 213 E

LSU Scores
2 Edit Hertzman 69-73-67 – 209 -4
T11 Ingrid Lindblad 68-73-74 – 215 +2
T13 Aine Donegan 76-70-70 – 216 +3
T45 Latanna Stone 74-72-76 – 222 +9
T71 Carla Tejedo 72-76-80 – 228 +15