LSU Women's Golf Team With Work To Do In Wednesday's Final NCAA Regional Round
LSU's Latanna Stone rolls a short birdie putt in on the par 5 18th to complete a second consecutive round of 1-under 71. Photo by Peter Nguyen.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida – The LSU women’s golf team will have work to do Wednesday when it takes to PGA National for the final round of the 2023 NCAA Palm Beach Gardens Regional.
LSU finds itself five shots off the cut line for one of the five team sports that will advance to the NCAA Championships in Scottsdale, Arizona later this month. Six NCAA women’s regionals will conclude on Wednesday and will advance the 30 total teams that will take part in this year’s tournament. LSU is trying to advance for the third consecutive year.
LSU improved its score by two shots on Tuesday, shooting an 8-over par 296 to stand at 18-over 594, tied with Arkansas (297-297) for seventh place. The fifth and final qualifying spot is actually a tie for fourth held presently Texas at 13-over par 589 (298-291) and South Florida (296-293).
UCF is between Texas and the LSU-Arkansas tied at 15-over par after rounds of 300 and 291.
In the top three spots are Michigan State at 5-over 581 (285-296) with Northwestern in second (300-284) at +8 584 and Duke (298-290) at 12-over in third. Northwestern moved up six sports to second in the second round while Duke moved up one spot. South Florida dropped two spots while Texas held. UCF moved up two spots to go past LSU while Arkansas dropped four spots and LSU three spots.
LSU senior Latanna Stone continues to shine for the Tigers with three birdies in her round Tuesday again including a knock-down approach shot on the par 5 18th hole that resulted in an easy birdie on the hole for the second straight day. She finished with a 1-under 71 and after back-to-back 71s stands at 2-under 142, two shots out of the lead, moving up a spot into a tie for third.
Stone has had seven birdies in her first 36 holes of play over this course which the PGA Tour plays the Honda Classic on. The Riverview, Florida native is the tournament leader on par 5 holes at 5-under par and only four players have made more birdies than she has recorded in the first two rounds of the event.
Miami individual entrant Sara Byrne is the tournament leader at 4-under par 140 after back-to-back rounds of 70 and is one shot ahead of Kelly Sim of Northwestern at 3-under 141 (70-71). Stone is tied for third with Brooke Biermann of Michigan State at 142. Biermann has had rounds of 69-73.
“Latanna has had two solid rounds out here,” said LSU Coach Garrett Runion. “Two rounds under par on the Champ Course. That’s really great consistent play. She’s been consistent for us all spring. Really, Aine’ (Donegan) and Ingrid (Lindblad) have and they have been doing the heavy lifting this week. This is regionals and anything can happen. (Wednesday) things will happen. We’ve had the good fortune of being near the lead and having a chance to win every tournament this spring and right now it’s a different feeling. I’m just glad we’ve still got one more round to go to give it a shot to advance and I think they will rise to the occasions because I know they don’t want their season to end here in South Florida.”
Lindblad posted a 1-over 73 on the day and moved up four spots to T12 in the individual standings at 3-over 147. Donegan posted a 3-over 75 and is at 5-over 149 after two rounds. Carla Tejedo was LSU’s other counting score at 5-over 77 and is at 12-over 156.
Stone’s 5-under on the par 5 holes has helped LSU lead the field in par 5 play at 6-under par. LSU has handled the par three holes on “The Bear Trap” with apparent ease (the 15th and 17th), while dropping eight counting shots over the two days on the par 4 16th hole that has an approach shot over water to the green.
It should be noted the top individual not on one of the top five teams also advances to play for the individual title in Scottsdale.
While not as big a margin, the LSU women will be looking to do what the 2015 LSU men did in their national championship season when they rallied from 11 strokes behind and in 10th place entering the final round of a regional at New Haven, Connecticut to make the fifth and final qualifying spot for nationals. Those Tigers posted a 12-under round of 268 to make the cut.
The top six teams will go off the front nine with teams 4-6 in the standings — South Florida, Texas and UCF — going off at 8 a.m. local time (7 a.m. Baton Rouge time) on the front side at the same time the 7-9 teams – LSU, Arkansas and California go off hole 10. The top three teams – Michigan State, Northwestern and Duke – will go off in the final wave of the tournament.
Live results are available at Golfstat.com and updates throughout the day on Twitter @LSUwomensgolf.
NCAA PALM BEACH GARDENS REGIONAL
PGA NATIONAL CHAMPIONS COURSE
Second Round Team Results (Par 288-576)
1 Michigan State 285-296 – 581 +5
2 Northwestern 300-284 – 584 +8
3 Duke 298-290 – 588 +12
T4 Texas 298-291 – 589 +13
T4 South Florida 296-293 – 589 +13
6 UCF 300-291 – 591 +15
T7 Arkansas 297-297 – 594 +18
T7 LSU 298-296 – 594 +18
9 California 302-299 – 601 +25
10 Alabama 299-303 – 602 +26
11 Penn 306-306 – 612 +36
12 Quinnipiac 315-322 – 637 +61
Individual Top 5 (Par 72-144)
1 Sara Byrne, Miami, 70-70 – 140 -4
2 Kelly Sim, Northwestern, 70-71 – 141 -3
T3 Latanna Stone, LSU, 71-71 – 142 -2
T3 Brooke Biermann, Michigan State, 69-73 – 142 -2
T5 Melanie Green, South Florida, 72-72 – 144 E
T5 Jess Baker, UCF, 72-72 – 144 E
T3 Latanna Stone – 71-71 – 142 -2
T12 Ingrid Lindblad – 74-73 – 147 +3
T26 Aine Donegan – 74-75 – 149 +5
T51 Carla Tejedo – 79-77 – 156 +12
T61 Edit Hertzman – 79-83 – 162 +18