LSU Gold

LSU Golfers Tee Off Wednesday In Augusta National Women's Am

by By Kent Lowe
LSU Golfers Tee Off Wednesday In Augusta National Women's Am

AUGUSTA, Georgia – There may be tournaments with bigger fields or more longevity in women’s amateur golf, but it is hard to find a more elite field competing in a more prestigious event as when the 72 players tee off Wednesday morning in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

That field for the fourth playing includes three current LSU golfers – seniors Ingrid Lindblad and Latanna Stone; and, junior Carla Tejedo – along with a former player/graduate of LSU, Kendall Griffin, who is now an assistant coach at Indiana.

The tournament starts at the 27-hole Champions Retreat, technically located in the Augusta suburb of Evans, Georgia. Each of the nine-hole courses is designed by extremely famous names in the game – Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. The ANWA will play Palmer’s Island Nine and Nicklaus’ Bluff Nine to make up the 18 holes in the first two rounds.

The top 30 and ties (the first time there will be no playoff for the final spot) after play on Wednesday and Thursday will go to Augusta National Golf Club for Saturday’s final round and the chance to win what is now one of the most coveted honors in women’s amateur golf.

LSU is one of five schools with three players in the field joining Duke, Florida State, Stanford and Wake Forest.

Tee times have been announced for Wednesday’s opening round and Lindblad will go off in the sixth group of the morning at 7:58 a.m. CT off No. 10 tee with Bohyun Park, a sophomore representing Korea, who attends the University of Texas, and Mizuki Hashimoto of Japan. She is making her second appearance here after winning the 2023 Australian Women’s Amateur.

Lindblad is the No. 2 women’s amateur in the World Golf Rankings and is coming off her school record adding 11th collegiate win on Sunday in the Clemson Invitational when she tied for medalist honors at 5-under par 211. She has only finished outside T11 in three college events in her career.

“I was excited to get back here,” said Lindblad after the round. “I know what it takes; how to play on this course. A lot of pars usually help. With the greens being softer (Tuesday), I assume they will be softer during the week. I was excited to be back. I kind of remembered the course as more narrow than it was today. When I got on the first tee, I was thinking this is wider than I thought. Maybe I just pictured that it was narrow from the two previous years.”

Of her game entering the ANWA from last year’s event, Lindblad said, “I would say its pretty similar to be honest. I’m still hitting the ball kind of high. It helps today. The fairways are kind of wet so you want to carry as far as possible. I think I might be hitting my irons a touch better. So, hopefully that will help.

Tejedo will tee off in the second-to-last group at 8:55 a.m. CT with Kajsa Arwefjall, representing Sweden, who plays for San Jose State, and Kaitlyn Schroeder, a January enrollee at Alabama.

Tejedo has played well on the toughest courses with her college win coming in the fall of 2021 at The Alotian Club in Arkansas for the first Jackson T. Stephens Cup and then she repeated the performance on the Seminole Club layout in Florida with an 8-under par showing to finish second in the fall of 2022.

The Spaniard shot 8-under par in taking fifth place in the Moon Golf Invitational earlier in the spring. She has seven career top 10 finishes.

For Tejedo, it’s her first trip to the ANWA and Tuesday she got to look at the Champions Retreat course during the practice round.

“I really like it actually,” Tejedo said after her first ever round on the layout. “Everyone has been saying how difficult this course is compared to Augusta National, but I feel like you need to be in the best spot on the hole. It’s not very scoreable so I feel if you play good, you can be on the top and just keep the big, big mistakes away because everyone is going to make bogeys. If you hit all the fairways and greens, congrats. You’ve beat the course for sure. You just need to be in the right spot.”

Stone will tee off in the final threesome of the morning at 9:07 a.m. CT in an all-USA grouping with Crystal Wang and Gianna Clemente. Wang plays for Illinois and Clemente is the youngest player in the field, having turned 15 less than a week ago.

Stone has been a big part of LSU’s No. 3 team ranking, coming up with needed scores throughout the year. She broke through to win her first collegiate title at the Nexus Collegiate in the Bahamas, shooting a 6-under par 210. She has posted three top 10s this season, 15 for her career and her stroke average is the lowest of her years at LSU at 71.46.

“It’s a little wet out there but it’s in nice shape. The greens are firm. It’s going to play tough with it being wet, but I think it will be a great challenge,” Stone said after her practice round.

The LSU team is coming off a second-place finish in Sunday’s play and Stone felt good about having the tournament play leading into the ANWA.

“We love playing a tournament before this one to kind of prepare,” the Riverview, Florida native said. “The greens were almost as firm, if not quite as firm as Champions Retreat,” said Stone of The Reserve at Lake Keowee. “I think it was good practice.”

Griffin played four years at LSU before using her graduate transfer year at Louisville. Griffin, who has remained an amateur, was named assistant coach at Indiana at the end of June 2022.

For Lindblad and Stone it is a return to familiar surroundings as Lindblad will make her third appearance in the ANWA with Stone making her second. Lindblad finished third in 2021 and then Stone and Lindblad both finished as the runners-up a year ago.

And with all things Augusta, it is more than just the golf. After a food truck party on Monday night, the field will be invited to Augusta National for dinner Tuesday night with chairman Fred Ridley and the members before play commences.

The weather Wednesday is expected to be the coolest of the tournament week with a partly cloudy sky and temperatures in the high 60s.

For the first time, golf fans will get to see the play at Champions Retreat as The Golf Channel will have coverage Wednesday and Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. CT. Cara Banks, Morgan Pressel, Paige Mackenzie, Steve Burkowski and Jim “Bones” Mackay will have the call.

Live scoring can be found at under “Leader Board.”