LSU Gold

Tiger Golfers Set To Go Monday In NCAA Women's Golf Regional

by Kent Lowe
Tiger Golfers Set To Go Monday In NCAA Women's Golf Regional

BRYAN, Texas – The No. 5 LSU women’s golf team begins its quest for a fourth consecutive NCAA Championships appearance here Monday as the 2024 NCAA Bryan Regional gets underway at The Traditions Club.

The Tigers, ranked No. 5 in the latest Mizuno WGCA Coaches Poll and the NCAA Scoreboard by Clippd performance rankings, are the No. 1 seed in the field of 12 with the goal to finish in the top five teams to advance to the NCAA Championships in Carlsbad, California later this month.

The 54-hole event here and at five other regional sites (Auburn, Alabama; Bermuda Run, North Carolina; Cle Elum Washington; East Lansing, Michigan; and, Las Vegas, Nevada) will determine the 30 teams that will advance to the Championships along with the one individual from each regional that advances as an individual competitor from players outside the five qualifying teams.

As per the norm, there are quality teams from top to bottom. With LSU in seed order with Scoreboard by Clippd rankings are Texas A&M (2nd seed – 12 Scoreboard by Clippd); Clemson (3rd – No. 17); Vanderbilt (4th – No. 20); SMU (5th – No. 26); Ohio State (6th – No. 31).

Seeds 6-12 and their national rankings are: Maryland (7th – No. 42); Iowa State (8th – No. 44); Texas State (9th – No. 57); Sam Houston (10th – No. 66); Sacred Heart (11th – No. 122); and Little Rock (12th – No. 145).

SMU (American), Texas State (Sun Belt), Sam Houston (C-USA); Sacred Heart (Northeast Conference) and Little Rock (OVC) were all automatically invited as conference champions.

This is the 27th time the Tigers have advanced to an NCAA Regionals since the format was founded in 1993. LSU actually played host to what was then just two NCAA Regionals in that first year at the Santa Maria Golf Course in Baton Rouge.

LSU has advanced to the Championships 14 times since the format started, including each of the last three years. The Tigers could equal the school mark of four straight championship appearances (1998-2001) with a top five finish in this event.

With heavy rains already inundating the Bryan/College Station area this past week and rain predicted overnight and early morning Sunday, the field went out Saturday just before 6 p.m. to try to get in as many holes as possible after the team arrived, but after about an hour and three or four holes for most teams, a rumble of thunder hit and teams were called off the course.

Sunday, the teams returned to the course for an 11:30 state, but were only allowed to putt on the greens and chip within 10 yards of the flag with all bunkers off limits. The teams were able to complete things that way before some rain and heavy winds came through the area.

The forecast on Monday for the start of the tournament is partly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain through noon before beginning to lessen as the day goes on with a high of 84. Winds will be 10-14 miles per hour in the morning gusting to 16-20 in the afternoon.

“Adapt and advance,” said LSU Coach Garrett Runion. “We came in knowing there would be some weather issues. All year we don’t talk about the weather or course conditions so moving forward I told the team expect bad breaks, expect bad weather and how you handle it will go a long way in helping us advance.”

Of course we are trying to win the tournament but it is a qualifier for the national championships and that is our ultimate goal to get there,” said Runion. “It doesn’t matter how it looks as long as you get there and have a chance to win the national championship. So we have brought our old shoes and prepared to play in the mud and be tough-minded and play good team golf. Good team golf on a tough course where it is expected to have bad weather and bad winds is taking away the big numbers and playing smart and it’s okay to make bogeys you just don’t want to make big numbers.”

Last year, LSU played an amazing final seven holes to get into the regional as the Tigers came from eighth shots back to grab the fifth and final qualifying spot by one shot at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The Tigers lineup remains the same led by World No. 1 Ingrid Lindblad, the LSU graduate who earlier in the week earned her third SEC Player of the Year honors. She will be joined by the two other players in their final season for the Tigers, graduate Latanna Stone and senior Carla Tejedo.

Stone was co-medalist at the PGA National course, shooting three consecutive rounds of 1-under 71 on the course that hosts a PGA Tour event.

Joining those three are junior Aine Donegan, the native of Ireland who last week qualified for the U.S. State Women’s Open for the second straight year, and sophomore Taylor Riley.

The course is the same venue and layout from the 2011 NCAA Championships. The Tigers had their first of back-to-back third place finishes on this course and then freshman Austin Ernst, who is now a Texas A&M assistant, won the NCAA individual championship.

“I think the biggest thing about this course is having a good tee shot and playing out of the fairway. It will be important to get the distance correct on the second shot. They are smaller greens with big, deep bunkers. The win can swirl a lot out here. Being in control how far your ball goes. Being able to flight it in this wind is going to be a big key.”

LSU, Texas A&M and Clemson will start the tournament in the opening wave at 8 a.m. CT. Live scoring will be available at, under the Bryan Regional tab and updates during the round on X @LSUwomensgolf and @LSUKent.