LSU Women's Golf Falls In Semifinal Match At SEC Championships
Latanna Stone of LSU won both her matches on Saturday in the SEC Championships match play portion. Photo by Jimmy Mitchell
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The No. 1 seed jinx struck again on Saturday at the SEC Women’s Golf Championships and for the second time in three years the LSU Tigers fell in the semifinal round of match play at Greystone Golf and Country Club’s Legacy Course.
No number 1 seed after the conclusion of the 54-holes of qualifying has been able to make it through to win the championship since the event went to the stroke/match format in 2018. LSU, trying to win for the second straight year, shot 6-over par to win the qualifying top seed on Friday by 11 shots.
After an amazing finish to its 3-2 quarterfinal win over No. 8 seed Ole Miss earlier in the day, the Tigers could not get it going against No. 5 seed Mississippi State, falling 3-2 in the best of five matches.
Mississippi State will meet No. 3 seed Texas A&M, a 3-2 winner over South Carolina with two deciding matches going extra holes.
Senior Latanna Stone had a strong day with two wins, including a 2&1 win over Julia Lopez Ramirez of Ole Miss in the fifth and final match early in the day, while freshman Edit Hertzman showed her match play chops with two wins including a 1UP decision over Isabell Pellot of Mississippi State
In the morning quarterfinal match, it was Hertzman, playing in the third match of the day, who made a clutch 17-footer from the back of the par 5 18th green against Nicole Gal of Ole Miss to win her match over 1UP giving LSU its second point of the match.
Then in the final match, Stone, who moved to 1Up after winning the 17, showed the match play stuff she showed a year ago in this event and later in the summer in the Curtis Cup as she made a difficult three-foot comebacker for par to halve the hole and win the match against the Rebels’ Andrea Lignell to get LSU home for the clinching third point.
Prior to the end of those matches, Ingrid Lindblad had a fairly easy time of it with a 4&2 win in her match with Natacha Husted.
There were several big swings in the Hertzman quarterfinal match as she fell behind two holes, then reversed it to a 3UP lead after 12 holes. Opponent Gal would get the match even on the 17th hole setting up the dramatics.
Gal missed a birdie putt of her own and her par putt was conceded so Hertzman need to at least two putt to force extra holes but she calmly stroked in the winning putt that set off a reaction from the LSU team members around the 18th green.
In her semifinal match, Hertzman won the 17th with a par to get the 1UP advantage.
Stone and Lignell went back and forth throughout their match, including when both players made long birdie puts on the 10th hole. The key swing came on the 17th hole when Stone’s par 3 won the hole and then after both players missed birdie attempts, it was Stone’s par putt that was the difference.
Lindblad made a lengthy uphill birdie putt on the par 3 eighth hole to go up 2UP in her match and advanced to 3UP with a par on the ninth hole after Natacha Husted hit into the woods with her opening shot. A par on the 16th hole clinched the match.
After the long day of golf, Coach Garrett Runion reflected on the play. “That’s golf. That’s match play. I’m very proud of the girls. They’ve had a little bit of a target on their backs this semester coming into the SECs being the highest ranked league team in the country and they proved it in stroke play and won that by 11. Had a great match against Ole Miss that could have gone either way at the end. It’s match play. Anything can happen. You need to be playing well and have some things go your way. We had a couple bounces (in the semifinal) that did not go our way.
“I’m very proud of Aine (Donegan) for putting herself in position (in the semifinal) to win it on 18. I’m proud of Carla who was three down with four to play (in the opening semifinal pairing) and came back and took it to the 18th hole. Edit as a freshman winning both her matches in her first SECs is pretty impressive and Latanna was strong. There is still a lot to play for the rest of the year and we can still make this a special year.”
The third-ranked Tigers have finished semifinalists, champions and semifinalists over the course of the last three years.
The Tigers will now return to Baton Rouge and wait for the announcement of their NCAA Regional journey on Wednesday, April 26.
SEC WOMEN’S GOLF CHAMPIONSHP
LSU 3, OLE MISS 2
Elle Johnson (OM) d. Carla Tejedo (LSU), 2&1
Chiara Tamburlini (OM) d. Aine Donegan (LSU), 1UP
Edit Hertzman (LSU) d. Nicole Gal (OM), 1 UP
Ingrid Lindblad (LSU) d. Natacha Husted (OM), 4 & 2
Latanna Stone (LSU) d. Andrea Lignell (OM), 1 UP
MISSISSIPPI STATE 3, LSU 2
Surapa Janthamunee (MSU) d. Carla Tejedo (LSU), 2UP
Abbey Daniel (MSU) d. Aine Donegan (LSU), 1UP
Edit Hertzman (LSU) d. Isabell Pellot (MSU), 1UP
Hannah Levi (MSU) d. Ingrid Lindblad (LSU), 5&4
Latanna Stone (LSU) d. Julia Lopez Ramirez (MSU), 2&1