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Lowe: Final Round Of ANWA Set For Saturday; LSU's Lindblad Ready For One Last Walk Around Augusta National

Lowe: Final Round Of ANWA Set For Saturday; LSU's Lindblad Ready For One Last Walk Around Augusta National

AUGUSTA, Georgia – One final walk over the hallowed ground of Augusta National Golf Club for LSU golfer Ingrid Lindblad and with it comes the chance to capture one of amateur golf’s top prizes, the title of winner of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

The native of Sweden starts the final round in a tie for fifth and four shots behind leader Lottie Woad of England and Florida State University. Lindblad posted a 1-under score of 143 in the two rounds at Champion’s Retreat while Woad is at 5-under par 139.

NBC Sports and Peacock will have the coverage of the event beginning at Noon ET (11 a.m. in Baton Rouge) with Mike Tirico and Morgan Pressel leading the broadcast from historic Butler Cabin. Live from the Augusta National Women’s Amateur will have early round coverage and discussion beginning at 10 a.m. ET (9 a.m. CT).

The tournament will have the traditional weekend two-person groups all off the first tee this year as the weather is expected to be cool, but comfortable for Saturday’s final round.

Lindblad will go out with Mirabel Ting of Malaysia in the second-to-last twosome at 10 a.m. ET (9 a.m. Baton Rouge time).

Lindblad on a final reconnaissance mission and LSU grad student Latanna Stone and signee Rocio Tejedo got to play a round over the course with a stop at the par 3 course this year as well as part of the Friday for all players. There was to be a final dinner for the players before competition resumes at 7:30 a.m. ET on Saturday with a large group of patrons expected for the final 18 holes.

“I chipped a few around the greens, kind of a lot of them kind of to just bump it into the fringe and let it trickle on the green. So, I did a little bit of that,” she said in the interview area. I mean, nothing crazy really. I think I had a pretty good idea of the course overall. Today we teed off on 10, it was blowing a little bit, but it was like this is nothing, nothing compared to (Thursday). We came down Amen Corner early, because I was off at 9:00, and I was like it’s pretty calm down here. It’s almost like a rest day. It’s a pretty nice walk today. Well, hilly walk, but a very beautiful walk.”

When asked if this final walk around Augusta this weekend would be a bonus after coming back for a full fifth year of college golf, Lindblad remarked: “I obviously want to go out and just go low, but yeah, it’s certainly a bonus to be here. But trying to shoot as low as possible too.”

Lindblad as a four-time invitee has played the course a total of six times after Friday’s practice round – twice in competition. In 2021 in finishing T3 and one shot out of the playoff, Lindblad posted 75 on the final day to finish at 2-over 218. In 2022, Lindblad tied for second with teammate Stone at even par 216 after shooting a 4-under par of 68.

In that round, Lindblad set a record that still stands for the ANWA for most birdies in a round as she posted “3s” on the par-5 8th and 15th holes. She has two of the five eagles at Augusta National over the first four years of the tournament. There were no eagles last year on a day that started overcast, was delayed near the mid-point by rain for over two hours, and then ended under a bright, sunny sky.

Here are a few more factoids the Augusta National folks have brought to our attention. Last year on the scorecard, Augusta National played to a distance of 6,365 yards. The last time the Masters played under 7,000 yards was actually in 2001 (6,985 yards). The yardage for the inaugural Augusta National Invitation Tournament (before someone called it the Masters) in 1934 was 6,700 yards.

Success around Amen Corner (11, 12, 13) has been a key for winners as none of the four ANWA winners had anything worse than a par on any of the holes. Jennifer Kupcho eagled the par 5 13th in the inaugural event.

One of the stats from Lindblad’s second round which finished with 13 consecutive pars after her three-hole stretch of trouble on 12-13-14 was no three putts. She was one of just 18 golfers in the field of 72 that had no three-putt greens. Lindblad hit 10-of-14 fairways in the round and 12-of-18 greens in regulation.

In the media interview someone asked about what was the biggest margin in her 14 collegiate wins to come from behind in and Ingrid, Golf Channel crew and I were trying to figure that out. Ingrid remembered her 75 in the opening round of Clemson in 2023 was one where she came from behind. That margin was six shots after the first day. It was five after the first day when she won the first of her three Clemson titles in 2022 after an opening 74.

Lindblad was four back in 2021 after 36 holes when she rallied to win in a playoff in the Stephens Cup in Arkansas. And, the Swedish star was three back in 2022 entering the final day when she rallied with an eagle on 18 to win the Southeastern Conference championship.

So the margin of four isn’t too big.

“I mean, it’s going out and hunting (Saturday),” Lindblad said. “There’s no holding back. You can be aggressive. The people in the lead, they’re more how do I play to not make a bogey? But for us that are a little behind, we can just go out and how can I make a birdie here? That’s what we’re going to have to do.”

We can’t forget Stone in all this affair as well. Her name is etched around this championship with two top eight finishes and the “Drive Chip Putt” event she played at as a youngster. One of the highlight videos Augusta National posted (and used on Thursday’s TV coverage) was Stone and a few players looking back at video of their performance in the DCP.

“Some of the girls that were in the first Drive Chip Putt are here now … It’s so cool,” Stone said on the feature after watching herself putt on a tablet showing highlights from 2014.

Stone, like Lindblad, will return to Baton Rouge to quickly prepare for what lies ahead, the SEC Championships in a new location in Belleair, Florida at the Pelican Golf Club.

There are lots of historic pictures of the media and the previous buildings that have housed the media over the years.

There are pictures of Western Union operators, typewriters and of all things, desk telephone sets.

I’m not sure how many people would be looking at these pictures and going what is all that stuff on the table. Does anyone 30 years younger than me remember a typewriter?

The number of patrons keep growing for the final round here at Augusta National and with good reason. First, it’s a great chance to hit the gift building, but secondly, and most importantly, the chance to see great golf. But watch closely when NBC shows crowd shots. Unlike The Masters and many tournaments, the crowd will have lots of young kids and parents experiencing this event up close.

The players seem to love that aspect of meeting young fans and signing flags and interacting with them and that’s wonderful to see. This group of amateurs is the future of the women’s game and the youngsters that will be watching are the next generation of players in this event at some point down the road.

The Masters will always be the Masters and Augusta National is an amazing place, but Chairman Fred Ridley’s announcement in 2018 that there would be a Women’s Amateur was a moment in time that changed women’s golf. Lindblad was a youngster in Sweden who heard the news and wondered if she could be good enough to play this event.

She has not only played, but thrived and mid-Saturday morning she will begin her quest to put her name on the trophy of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

Thanks for “Geauxing Lowe” on this Friday at Augusta National.

Final Round Tee Times (EDT)
Augusta National Women’s Amateur
Group 1 — 7:30 a.m. – Lauren Kim, Canada (+3)
Group 2 — 7:40 a.m. –Maria Jose Marin, Columbia (+3); Catherine Park, USA (+3)
Group 3 – 7:50 a.m. – Asterisk Talley, USA (+3); Farah O’Keefe, USA (+3)
Group 4 – 8:00 a.m. – Mamika Shinchi, Japan (+3); Carla Bernat Escuder, Spain (+3)
Group 5 – 8:10 a.m. – Rachel Kuehn, USA (+3); Hailee Cooper, USA (+3)
Group 6 – 8:20 a.m. – Amari Avery, USA (+3); Laney Frye, USA (+3)
Group 7 – 8:30 a.m. – Rin Yoshida, Japan (+3); Emilia Migliaccio, USA (+3)
Group 8 – 8:40 a.m. – Andrea Revuelta, Spain (+2); Kajsa Arwefjall, Sweden (+2)
Group 9 – 8:50 a.m. – Paula Martin Sampedro, Spain (+1); Francesca Fiorellini, Italy (+1)
Group 10 – 9:00 a.m. – Hinano Muguruma, Japan (+1); Nora Sundberg, Sweden (+1)
Group 11 – 9:10 a.m. – Sayaka Teraoka, Japan (E); Cayetana Fernandez Garcia-Poggio, Spain (E)
Group 12 – 9:20 a.m. – Casey Weidenfeld, USA (E); Megha Ganne, USA (E)
Group 13 – 9:30 a.m. – Eila Galitsky, Thailand (-1); Bailey Shoemaker, USA (-1)
Group 14 – 9:40 a.m. – Hannah Darling, Scotland (-1); Jasmine Koo, USA (-1)
Group 15 – 9:50 a.m. – Louise Rydqvist, Sweden (-1); Hailey Borja, USA (-1)
Group 16 – 10:00 a.m. – Mirabel Ting, Malaysia (-1); Ingrid Lindblad, USA (-1)
Group 17 – 10:10 a.m. – Maisie Filler, USA (-3); Amanda Sambach, USA (-2)
Group 18 – 10:20 a.m. – Lottie Woad, England (-5); Gianna Clemente, USA (-3)