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LSU's Latanna Stone Punches Ticket to U.S. Women's Amateur Final

Latanna Stone watches her tee shot on hole four during the semifinals of the 2023 U.S. Women's Amateur at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif. on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023. (James Gilbert/USGA)

LSU's Latanna Stone Punches Ticket to U.S. Women's Amateur Final

BATON ROUGE – LSU women’s golfer Latanna Stone continued her strong week of play on Saturday as she punched her ticket to the final round of the United States Golf Association’s Women Amateur Championship final with a 3&2 win over Rachel Heck at the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles.

Stone, a graduate student from Riverview, Florida, becomes the first LSU Tiger to reach the finals of the prestigious tournament since Meredith Duncan in 2001. Duncan would claim the title that year in a playoff hole against Nicole Perrot.

It was a dominant day on the course for the LSU Tiger, who never trailed in the match and finished the day with six birdies in 16 holes. Stone claimed the first hole with a birdie before Heck’s par tied it back up on the following hole. After splitting the third hole, Stone claimed back-to-back holes on four and five to go 2 UP.

Heck pulled the deficit back to one with a birdie on the sixth hole, but the match was blown open after that as Stone birdied the next three holes to finish the front nine a resounding 4 UP. The lead got to the largest of the day on the 11th hole, where Stone’s birdie stretched the margin to 5 UP.

The deficit was cut back to four on the 13th hole following a par from Heck and then down to three on the 15th hole with a birdie, but that was the final time Heck claimed one. Stone hit the 16th hole, a 110-yard par-3, with a tremendous tee shot that allowed her to two-putt for par and clinch a 3&2 decision.

The win over Heck was Stone’s third over a 2022 Curtis Cup teammate and just one more top opponent that Stone has defeated in her week at Bel-Air thus far.

“We (Stone and Heck) had so much fun today and we couldn’t stop laughing together,” Stone said on Golf Channel following the match. “This tournament is a marathon and I’m really grateful to have this opportunity (to play in the final). I can’t wait for tomorrow.”

Stone is set to face Megan Schofill of Auburn in a 36-hole final on Sunday. Schofill was victorious in her semifinal match on Saturday against Hailey Borja in a 2&1 decision. In addition to her success this week at Bel-Air, the graduate student from Monticello, Florida is coming off a senior season at Auburn that saw her named First-Team WGCA All-American and First-Team All-SEC.

The two golfers will tee off at 11:45 a.m. CT from the first hole. Live stats can be followed on the USGA website throughout the day while Golf Channel will cover the final part of the round and the trophy ceremony starting at 6 p.m. CT.