Tigers Top Qualifier For Match Play In SEC Women's Golf; Face Ole Miss In Quarterfinal Saturday At 7 AM
Carla Tejedo led the LSU team with a five-under par round of 67 on Friday. Photo by Peter Nguyen.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The LSU women’s golf team, looking for a second straight league title, blitzed the front nine Friday of the Greystone Golf and Country Club’s Legacy Course and coasted in as the top qualifier for match play that starts early Saturday morning.
The Tigers, ranked No. 3 in the Golfstat performance rankings, posted the only under par round on the course at 4-under 284 to finish 54 holes in front of the competition with a three-day total of 6-over 870.
LSU finished 11 strokes ahead of No. 7 Auburn, which shot 4-over 292 Friday with a three-day total of 17-over 881.
LSU will face eighth-seed Ole Miss in the opening quarterfinal beginning at 7 a.m.
“Our goal to start the year was to be in the final pairing of every tournament and so far, we have done that,” said LSU Coach Garrett Runion. “Our goal was to be the number one seed (at SECs) heading to match play and we have done that. We know that no team has won match play twice since they have gone to the match play format. We know no number one seed has won the match play and so this whole year we have been ‘Why not us?’ Somebody has to do it. Somebody has to break the trend.”
LSU was the No. 2 seed last year entering the weekend when they defeated Vanderbilt, Alabama and Florida on the way to the first team championship in 30 years.
The Tigers as a team were 9-under on the front nine of the Legacy Course Friday which played at 77.60 in the rain and win on Thursday in the second round and almost two shots easier in the final round. LSU counted three birdies from Aine Donegan, Carla Tejedo and Latanna Stone on the short 317-yard par 4 and then on the 362-yard par 4 ninth, Donegan, Tejedo and Stone all birdied again and this time Ingrid Lindblad added a short birdie putt to give the Tigers birdies from all four counting players.
LSU had four of the nine birdies registered on the ninth hole on Friday.
LSU had 11 birdies on the front nine holes and finished with 15 total for the round with a tournament best for the three rounds.
LSU had three players inside the top six in the final individual standings as sophomore Donegan posted 72-71-71 to finish at 2-under par 214 for the 54-hole event. She was two shots out of the individual medalist honors won by Julia Lopez Ramirez of Mississippi State who birdied the final hole to win with a 4-under score of 212. Megan Schofill of Auburn was second at 3-under 213.
Lindblad made it three straight top four finishes in the SEC Championship with a 1-under par 71 that featured three birdies. She finished the 54 holes at even par 216 with descending rounds of 73-72-71. Lindblad has been second-first-fourth the last three SEC Championships.
Stone finished the day with a 3-over 75 to end at 1-over 217 (69-73-75) and finished in a tie for sixth place. The Florida senior lead the field with 14 birdies over the 54 holes.
But the round of the day belonged to junior Carla Tejedo. The native of Spain posted four birdies on the front nine holes and then birdies at holes 10 and 11 with just one bogey later in the round to shoot a 5-under 67. Tejedo moved up 36 places in the standings to inside the top 20 (T18) at 7-over 223 (78-78-67).
The eight top ranked teams in the SEC from the Golfstat rankings made the match play with LSU and Auburn followed by No. 10 Texas A&M in third (21-over, 885), with No. 19 Vanderbilt fourth (23-over, 887), No. 5 Mississippi State fifth (26-over 890), No. 21 Florida sixth (27-over 891) with South Carolina and Ole Miss tying for seventh and the final two playoff spots at 30-over 894. South Carolina is ranked fourth and Ole Miss No. 16.
South Carolina won the seventh spot on a tiebreaker with Ole Miss adding in the cumulative non-counting score each day for the three rounds. Carolina’s scores total 17-over par and Ole Miss’ tallied 18-over par setting up the LSU-Ole Miss matchup.
“So, we set out to get that one seed and the way they played today and the first three rounds, we did something that has only happened three times in LSU women’s golf history and that’s win the stroke play portion,” Runion noted. “In 1992, 2021 and 2023. If you look at it, any other year that would make you SEC Champions if they didn’t change the format in 2018. You have to kind of acknowledge that, but at the same time it all starts over now. We have to switch gears. To have three players in the top seven, that’s just really strong. Now the biggest thing is to get some rest. We’re only halfway done.
“I think they are all going to be a tough out in match play,” he said. “We don’t have to do anything special; we just have to keep being us and hopefully we can get it done.”
The pairings were picked by the two coaches in the rules officials room Friday afternoon and Coach Runion is using a lineup that will start out with Tejedo, followed by Donegan and Hertzman with Lindblad and Stone in the final two spots. A team must win three matches to advance and matches that are all square after 18 holes continued until there is a winner.
The other matches will send Auburn against South Carolina, Texas A&M versus Florida and Vanderbilt and Mississippi State.
The quarterfinals will be followed by the semifinals beginning sometime after 12:30 pm or an hour after the completion of the quarterfinals. Those two matches will be televised on SECN+ with Taylor Zarzour, Steve Melnyk, Peter Burns and Chantel McCabe on the call. The championship match is set for 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning on the SEC Network.
SEC Women’s Golf Championships
Greystone Golf and Country Club – Birmingham, Alabama
Final Team Results – Top 8 Advance To Match Play
1 LSU 292-294-284 – 870 +6
2 Auburn 294-295-292 – 881 +17
3 Texas A&M 295-301-289 – 885 +21
4 Vanderbilt 288-308-291 – 887 +23
5 Mississippi State 292-305-293 – 890 +26
6 Florida 290-309-292 – 891 +27
7 South Carolina 293-302-299 – 894 +30
7 Ole Miss 295-309-290 – 894 +30
(South Carolina wins scoring tiebreaker and is seventh seed; Ole Miss eighth seed)
9 Georgia 294-304-298 – 896 +32
10 Alabama 293-309-301 – 903 +39
11 Tennessee 295-311-299 – 905 +41
11 Kentucky 294-307-304 – 905 +41
13 Arkansas 306-312-298 – 916 +52
14 Missouri 296-327-304 – 927 +63
Final Individual Top 5 (Par 72-216)
1 Julia Lopez Ramirez, Mississippi State 69-75-68 – 212 -4
2 Megan Schofill, Auburn 70-69-74 – 213 -3
3 Aine Donegan, LSU 72-71-71 – 214 -2
T4 Ingrid Lindblad, LSU 73-72-71 – 216 E
T4 Marina Escobar Domingo, Florida 71-72-73 – 216 E
3 Aine Donegan 72-71-71 – 214 -2
T4 Ingrid Lindblad 73-72-71 – 216 E
T6 Latanna Stone 69-73-75 – 217 +1
T18 Carla Tejedo 78-78-67 – 223 +7
66 Edit Hertzman 82-79-83 – 244 +28