LSU Gold

Lowe: Okay, "Geaux Lowe" Was Wrong About ANWA Scoring

by Kent Lowe
Lowe: Okay, "Geaux Lowe" Was Wrong About ANWA Scoring

AUGUSTA, Georgia – Welcome to another edition of “Geaux Lowe”. I know it is early and I already need a second glass of iced tea. So, find your beverage of early morning choice and let’s examine some numbers and such in the moments before Ingrid Lindblad and Latanna Stone start their second round of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

Okay, let’s start with this – I was way off when I was thinking the cut number would be high with the wind situation on Wednesday. There is expected to be wind today and it is about 20-plus degrees cooler than yesterday.

But I’m convinced that it really doesn’t matter what the wind blows. Now, the temperature may mean a different thing, but I doubt it.

A lot of us covering the event have talked about the quality of the field for the ANWA and that’s what has made this event so special now in its fifth year. And maybe it was the quality of the field that showed on Wednesday – don’t worry about the stinking wind, we can shoot some low numbers in the wind.

One of those shooting a low number in that wind was Ingrid Lindblad of LSU, who freely admitted in the interview area that the scores were better than she expected. She enters today at 5-under par one shot out of the lead and five clear of where the cut starts the day at for the top 30 and ties, even par.

Twice the cut number after 36 holes has been 2-over par 146. I’m not sure it will go much higher than +1 after today’s round. There are 12 players at T29 even par which is a total of 40 players.

But that doesn’t mean someone like Latanna Stone can’t post a good number and get back into the top 30. She’s at plus-3 after a 75 and there’s no reason that she can’t put something together today. She excels on courses like this and has shown that twice already in this event.

I looked at some of the stats for the first round and some of it was fascinating. Lindblad had 28 putts over the 18 holes and had just one three-putt green when she parred the final hole after the wind blew her off her birdie putt not once, but twice. She is T8 in total first-round putts.

Lindblad was T7 in Greens in Regulation, hitting 14-of-18 on the round. Officially, she was just 9-of-14 in fairways hit but two points. Most of her misses were edge of fairway in very light rough that didn’t affect her approach to the green and one of the greens she missed was the par 3 17th when she putted from off the green and made a birdie.

The toughest hole, as it has been statistically when all four years are totaled in, is the par 4 16th which saw just three birdies on the day and 21 bogeys or worse. Amazingly, the par 5 18th hole was the only par 5 over par at 5.181 with one eagle and 10 birdies.

In the end the opening day stroke average for the 72-player field was 72.597. which is almost two strokes lower than the 74.75 average in the round a year ago. In the first four years the average score on the first day – 75.14.

Remember last year, the stroke average in the second round was 72.61. So, what happens today?

The tournament committee (sorry I can’t write or say it like some past Augusta National chairmen could say it) did move up a few tees Wednesday and the field did play lift, clean and place. Whether that remains today is yet to be determined and what will the committee do, if anything, to put a little spice into Champions Retreat?

These are always the things that make a cut round intriguing.

Oh yea, one final little nugget. According to Augusta National, a player has shot under par in the first round of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur a total of 35 times entering play this year. In 34 of those occasions, the player went on to make the cut. A total of 28 players are under par entering today’s play. Wow, a lot of history sitting there staring at the players.

Ingrid Lindblad was asked leaving the interview area for a few signatures from some young fans on hand and when you watch the telecast you will see the parents and their kids all out at Augusta National. It was great to see in the final 90 minutes or so of the round Wednesday, parents showing up with their kids to take in a few holes.

You know, a lot has been said about women’s basketball these days, but women’s golf – tournaments like this, in the college game and the LPGA is hot these days. With the PGA and LIV Golf all fragmented and trying to find which stars are playing where, the best there are teeing it up on the LPGA Tour and frankly, the future of women’s golf is playing here this weekend.

It’s impressive to say the least. I’m fortunate as a golf fan to get to watch these great players and it is amazing to see how hard they work and how far they can hit the ball. Then I watch their touch around the greens and all I can do is shake my head.

It is also nice to be a small part of a pretty strong press corps for this event, and more will be in town by Saturday for the final round. The Masters is still the Masters, and it is still the top of the line. But what Fred Ridley and Augusta National created for these women is the best it can be.

Tee it up ladies; Let’s see what today’s action brings us. Thanks for visiting “Geaux Lowe”.