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Tigers Post Important Team Round in NCAA's; Donegan Fires 67; Tejedo Under Par

Aine Donegan (Photo by Mitchell Scaglione)

by Kent Lowe
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Tigers Post Important Team Round in NCAA's; Donegan Fires 67; Tejedo Under Par

CARLSBAD, California – College golf is a team event and in the five play, four count format there are days when the unexpected can happen and four players have to take up the slack for the team score.

Such was the case on Saturday at the OMNI La Costa Resort & Spa as LSU’s Aine Donegan equaled her LSU career low round with a 5-under 67 and Carla Tejedo posted her second straight round of 1-under par 71 to pace the Tigers to a 2-under par round of 286.

But the 2-under round doesn’t happen without Latanna Stone and Taylor Reilly. Stone had two birdies in a 1-over 73, while Reilly, playing in front of family and friends from her hometown of nearby San Diego, had a 3-over 75. Reilly played the last 13 holes in even par and had a birdie putt on the ninth hole (her final of the day) horseshoe the hole and stay out.

World No. 1 amateur Ingrid Lindblad had a tough day with a 9-over 81 and her score was the non-counting for the Tigers. But that showed this team could answer the bell and post a score that would move them nine spots up the leaderboard to a tie for fifth entering the third round on Sunday.

Also, this round was the first time in NCAA Championship competition that LSU has posted an under-par round in the 17 appearances in the event. LSU shot even par for the first-time last year in the second round at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale.

LSU after two rounds is at 1-under 575 (289-286) as each of the 30 teams has played one round in the afternoon and one round in the morning waves.

“This is the meaning of team golf,” said Coach Garrett Runion. “We had a DJ on the range today and the DJ was playing everyone’s fight song. It so happened that as we huddled, they were playing the LSU fight song. So we all sat there, bobbing our heads. So I said, ‘What’s the No. 1 goal?’ We always say to be a team. To be a team it’s going to take everybody. Today they showed that. I don’t like to bring attention to a negative but that is the first round in five years that Ingrid hasn’t counted and that’s absolutely incredible.

“The way the ladies played. Hats off to Aine, she played a bogey-free round, a great round of 67 which was huge,” Runion continued. “We needed it and she stepped up. Carla played solidly all day too for a second straight day. Latanna had a good round. Taylor really hung in there and it was good to see her after she made three bogeys right the ship and finished at 3-over.”

Donegan started quickly with a birdie on her first hole of the day, the par 5 10th, to kickstart her round. She followed that up with seven straight pars before a short birdie putt on the par 5 18th hole putting her 2-under heading to the front nine.

The Irish golfer, who made the cut last year at Pebble Beach in the U.S. Women’s Open, also in California, parred the first three holes before birdies on the par 4 fourth, the par 5 sixth and par four eighth to finish with a bogey free card of five-under 67.

Donegan’s 67 is tied for the fourth lowest round an LSU women’s player has shot in an NCAA Championship.

“I’m delighted. I just tried to stay patient out there all day really,” said Donegan after the round. “I started off well with a birdie, which was probably my longest putt of the day. That was a nice start and from there I just tried to stay patient. I actually missed a few good chances from inside eight feet today, so it could have been better but could have been worse. I made some good par putts on the first nine and my final nine was really solid. I hit nearly every fairway and every green, so it was stress free. I’m delighted and I hope tomorrow’s another good day.”

The career college low she equaled actually came in New Orleans at the City Park course when she posted 67 in her first round for the Tigers.

“I knew that was the tie, I was actually trying to get to 6-under on the final hole there,” Donegan said. “I’m pleased with it and hoping we can keep building off of this and get better every day.”

Donegan moved up an amazing 68 places on the tournament’s individual leaderboard, standing at T7 (as of 5:50 PDT) at 3-under 141 after rounds of 74-67. Maybe it is the California vibe.

“I just love California, the views, weather and people,” she said. “This course does suit my eye actually. I seem to putt better on slightly slower greens, these are new so that could be something. I putted solidly today and even (Friday); the ones yesterday just didn’t drop. A lot of the ones yesterday that didn’t drop did drop today, so that’s nice. The main thing at this course is hitting the fairways and luckily, I’ve been hitting the ball really well. I have been (hitting the ball well) for a while now, and I even told Latanna (Stone) the past few rounds that I’m waiting on a low one, they just need to all come together. Thankfully today, everything came together and I had no bogeys.”

Tejedo’s back-to-back 71s has also put her in a good spot on the leaderboard at early evening at T14 at 142. She has had eight birdies combined in the first two rounds and is in position to post a third top 25 finish in her four NCAA appearances.

Texas A&M moved into the lead of the tournament after a 4-under 284 round to stand at 11-under par 565 after 36 holes. Stanford is second at 6-under 570 with Clemson, the first-round leader at 3-under 573 in third. UCLA is next at 2-under 574 with LSU tied with Auburn for fifth place at 1-under par 575, two shots ahead of Oregon in seventh place at +1 577.

“Our goal was to get into the top five at the end of the day. We gave ourselves a shot,” Runion said as the afternoon wave started. “We wanted to play better than we did (Friday), we did that. Sunday we will try and go out and improve on that. We tend to get better as we figure out the golf course. Our last two final rounds have been good. We are looking forward to getting out there again. We will have a morning start time so that’s helpful.”

The goal on Sunday will be to take the first step and make the cut to 15 teams for Monday’s final team stroke play round. As of late Saturday evening, LSU is 13 shots ahead of the cut line which is at 11-over par with teams still on the course.

In an unusual twist, LSU will play with UCLA and Auburn for the third straight round as the teams are in the 4-5-6 wave that starts play on hole 10 again at 7:02 a.m. PDT (9:02 Baton Rouge time).

Live updates on and on “X” @LSUWomensgolf and @LSUKent.

Carlsbad, California – OMNI La Costa Resort & Spa
Second Round Team Results (Par 288-576)
1 Texas A&M – 281-284 – 565 -11
2 Stanford – 285-285 – 570 -6
3 Clemson – 280-293 – 573 -3
4 UCLA – 291-283 – 574 -2
T5 LSU – 289-286 – 575 –1
T5 Auburn – 285-290 – 575 -1
7 Oregon – 294-283 – 577 +1
T8 Arkansas – 288-290 – 578 +2
T8 Northwestern – 285-293 – 578 +2
10 Duke – 286-293 –579 +3
11 Southern California – 299-283 – 582 +6
12 Mississippi State – 287-297 — 584 +8
13 Texas – 299-286 – 585 +9
T14 Wake Forest – 295-292 – 587 +11
T14 Arizona State – 286-301 – 587 +11
16 Florida State – 287-302 – 589 +13
T17 San Jose State – 286-304 — 590 +13
T17 Pepperdine – 291-299 — 590 +14
T19 Michigan State — 288-305 — 593 +17
T19 South Carolina — 296-297 — 593 +17
T21 Baylor – 300-295 — 595 +19
T21 Vanderbilt – 300-295 – 595 +19
23 Ole Miss — 299-297 — 596 +20
24 Oregon State — 299-298 — 597 +21
25 Oklahoma State — 287-313 — 600 +24
26 Tulsa — 303-301 — 604 +28
27 North Carolina – 301-304 — 605 +29
28 Purdue – 295-312 — 607 +31
29 Virginia – 301-307 — 608+32
30 SMU – 302-309 — 611 +35

Individual Top 10
1 Adela Cernousek, Texas A&M –68-68 – 136 -6
2 Annabella Pancake, Clemson – 69-69 – 138 -4
3 Lottie Woad, Florida State – 65-74 – 139 -5
T4 Maria Jose Marin, Arkansas – 72-68 – 140 -4
T4 Julia Lopez Ramirez, Mississippi State – 71-69 – 140 -4
T4 Casey Weidenfeld, Auburn — 70-70 – 140 -4
T7 Kiara Romero, Oregon – 75-66 – 141 -3
T7 Aine Donegan, LSU – 74-67 – 141 -3
T7 Ashley Yun, Northwestern – 71-70 – 141 -3
T7 Anna Davis, Auburn – 69-72 – 141 -3
T7 Carolina Canales, UCLA – 69-71 – 141 -3
T7 Cayetana Fernandez Garcia-Poggio, Texas A&M – 68-73 – 141 -3
T7 Sophie Linder, Ole Miss – 68-73 – 141 -3

LSU Scores
T7 Aine Donegan – 74-67 – 141 -3
T14 Carla Tejedo – 71-71 – 142 -2
T28 Latanna Stone – 71-73 – 144 E
T104 Taylor Riley – 77-75 – 152 +8
T126 Ingrid Lindblad – 73-81 – 154 +10