LSU Gold

Latanna Stone Posts Solid 73 In First Round of ANWA

Latanna Stone hits off No. 3 tee at Champions Retreat on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Augusta National Golf Club; Photographer Chris Trotman

by Kent Lowe
Leaderboard Geaux Lowe: Caddies & Cutlines Watch Thursday: 12:30 p.m. +0
Latanna Stone Posts Solid 73 In First Round of ANWA

AUGUSTA, Georgia – Two late first-round birdies by LSU senior Latanna Stone put her in a good position at the end of the first day of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur at Champions Retreat Golf Club here Wednesday.

Stone birdied both the par 4 16th and the par 3 17th and then two-putted for par on the par 5 18th hole to wrap up a 1-over 73 to stand in a group tied for 16th after 18 holes of the event.

At present 31 golfers are at +2 after the first of two days of play at Champions Retreat with the top 30 and ties after Thursday’s round advancing to Saturday’s final day of play at Augusta National Golf Club. It is expected that the cut number will advance at least one stroke and possibly two after another round of play.

Stone had three bogeys and a birdie on the par 4 385-yard fifth hole, as she started her second appearance at the championship on the first nine holes. On the par 5 ninth hole, Stone had a long birdie putt up a large ridge from the edge of the green. She left her first putt short but then delicately rolled in her long par putt to turn at just 2-over par 38.

As Stone picked up her ball and looked back to caddy Rowdy Dunn, he jokingly wiped his brow in relief.

“That one could have definitely gotten away,” the native of Riverview, Florida said in reviewing her round. “I had a few get away today. It was really hard today. Just trying to stay in and finish strong. It was a mental challenge out there.”

Stone recorded pars on the first three holes on the second nine before posting a birdie on the par 4 13th and then going to 3-over for the round with a double on the par 5 14th hole. But holes were still left to be played and she was determined to end the round on a positive note.

“I knew after my double I needed to find a turning point. I was kind of sad. I was like okay I’m just going to try and finish and make some birdies,” Stone said of the finish.

Stone made about a 15-footer on the par 4 16th and then a 10-footer on the par 3, 175-yard 17th hole.

Stone knows the job at hand and the ups and downs this golf course can provide.

“You’ve got to stay in it because we are all trying to fight for the 30 spots to make it to the weekend,” Stone said.”

Stone posted rounds of 72-72 last year in making the 30-player cut. She was T6 in the opening round in driving accuracy, hitting 13-of-14 fairways.

A total of 12 players were under par for the round, four more than a year ago when eight broke par on the opening day. World No. 1 Rose Zhang of Stanford set the Champions Retreat record with a 6-under round of 66 (old record was 68) to hold a 1-shot lead over Sweden’s Andrea Lignell, who plays for Ole Miss, who posted a 5-under 67.

Jenny Bae, from the University of Georgia, is third at 3-under 69.

LSU’s Ingrid Lindblad and Carla Tejedo struggled on the opening day but with a round to play all is still available to make the cut to Saturday.

Lindblad finished each nine 3-over par on the day. She posted her only birdie of the day on her final hole, the par 5 ninth. She stands at 6-over 78 and in a tie for 62nd place.

Tejedo, in her maiden voyage around the course, would also have just one birdie at the par 3 sixth hole and finished at 7-over 79 and in a tie for 67th.

Last year it took 150 to get into a four player for one spot playoff, but scores could be more to the 2019 year when 148 was needed to make an 11-for-10 playoff.

The second round begins early for Stone and Tejedo as they will be in the first two groups off hole number 10. Stone’s group tees at 7 a.m. CT and Tejedo follows at 7:12 a.m. CT Lindblad’s group goes off the first nine beginning at 8:09 a.m. CT.

Live coverage on the Golf Channel will being at 12:30 p.m. CT as the race for the top 30 and ties to play Saturday at Augusta is decided.