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LSU Golfer Latanna Stone Finishes Runner-Up in US Women's Amateur

Latanna Stone watches her tee shot on hole 30 during the finals of the 23 U.S. Women's Amateur at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif. on Sunday. (James Gilbert/USGA)

LSU Golfer Latanna Stone Finishes Runner-Up in US Women's Amateur

BATON ROUGE – A magical week of golf for LSU graduate student Latanna Stone came to an end on Sunday as she finished as the runner-up in the United States Golf Association Women’s Amateur at the famed Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, California.

Stone dropped the 36-hole final to Auburn grad student Megan Schofill, 4&3. The pair both grew up in Florida and have known each other since the eighth grade.

The nationally-televised match concluded a week in which Stone had a gauntlet of a match play bracket to get to the final match.

Stone beat the Nos. 7, 10 and 25 players in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking on her run and Stone’s five wins came against three of her 2022 USA Curtis Cup teammates (Amari Avery, Rachel Kuehn and Rachel Heck), the 2022 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion (Yana Wilson) and the 2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball champion Thienna Huynh.

The championship match swung on the second nine of the opening 18 holes after the two players were even through 14 holes with no player having more than a 1Up lead to that point in the match. But Schofill went par-birdie-birdie on 15, 16 and 17 to suddenly break out to a 3Up advantage. That’s how that 18 ended.

In the second 18 holes, Stone, who was bothered by a right leg injury suffered late in the week, was able to win the 19th hole, the par 5 first with a birdie four, but Schofill was almost unstoppable playing under par golf and pushing the margin to 4UP on the 26th hole. Stone was unable to convert some putts in the afternoon half of the round and never able to get back in the final holes as the match ended on the 33rd hole.

Stone if she remains an amateur earned exemptions into the 2024 and 2025 U.S. Women’s Amateurs. The two finalists are also exempt into the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster (Pa.) C.C. As the runner-up, Stone must remain an amateur to accept the exemption.

With 36 holes of qualifying Monday and Tuesday and six matches, including the double round on Sunday, Stone played well over 150 holes in the tournament.

The Riverview, Florida native was trying to become the first LSU player to win the Women’s Amateur since Shreveport’s Meredith Duncan, who captured the event in 2001 on the first hole of sudden death, the 37th hole, with a kick-in birdie on the par 3 hole.

LSU sophomore Taylor Riley also had a successful Amateur, advancing through qualifying to the round of 16 earlier in the week.

Now LSU players will begin to return to Baton Rouge for the start of the 2023 Fall Semester and the start of the fall golf season in early September.

Quotes from LSU’s Latanna Stone following the match (Courtesy of The Golf Channel):

On her mindset when restarting the round down three…
“I feel like we both played really good golf out there and I’m so happy for Megan (Schofill), I really am. I feel like we’re both kind of the underdogs and for us to get a chance to show how we can play really means a lot. Even though it didn’t turn out the way that I wanted it, I’m just so happy and grateful to be here and have this opportunity and experience to play golf.”

On what she learned about her game this week…
“I think that I know that I can do this and hang out with the ’big guys’. It’s just so special. I have my parents and my coaches here and I’m going to cherish this moment forever.”

On battling a leg injury the past couple days…
“This course is no joke! It’s very hilly and getting a muscle strain was not ideal. I was trying, you know? I was walking really slow, and I lost some power in my swing. Trying to get through the ball really hurt, but that was all I could have done.”

On her performance giving her confidence heading into her fifth year at LSU…
“It gives me a lot of confidence. I’m so excited to go back and spend time with my teammates and coaches. I think we’re going to have a great year this year.”