LSU Gold

Tigers "Battle" In Opening Round of NCAA Men's Golf Championship

Luke Haskew led LSU Friday with a 2-over 74.

by Kent Lowe
Tigers "Battle" In Opening Round of NCAA Men's Golf Championship

(First Round Complete — LSU finishes the first round T19 in the standings. LSU at +13 is three shots off the top 15 cutline with 36 holes to play. Player standings are updated at the bottom of the story. Saturday’s LSU round begins off No. 10 at 1:17 p.m. PDT)

CARLSBAD, California – Playing in the worst weather conditions of the two weeks of the NCAA Division I Championships at the OMNI La Costa Resort North Course, the LSU men’s golf team, in its first NCAA championship round since 2019, posted a 13-over par round of 301 here Friday.

The morning wave of teams faced a thick marine layer that settled over the course and cool conditions with a heavy drizzle for much of the first nine holes.

Unfortunately for those 15 teams that played in the morning, conditions were much more benign in the early part of the afternoon session. With the top 15 teams still on the course, many with more than nine holes to play, at 3:45 p.m. PDT (5:45 p.m. Baton Rouge time), LSU is 23rd in the field with its 13-over par score, but just eight shots off the early cut number at 15th place with 36-holes still to play.

“They did play hard. They golf course played very hard. They battled really well. I was really proud of the toughness that we showed,” said LSU interim head coach Andrew Nelson after the round. “We had just one double that was a three-putt late. We finished well where we counted everybody. Our high score was 4-over. Everyone counted today and that matters. It’s good to come out here and play with all five. I know we can get a little bit better based off that.”

Baton Rouge sophomore Luke Haskew led the Tigers with a 2-over par 74. He posted one of the team’s three birdies that were recorded on the par 5 10th hole and had three bogeys on his first-round card.

“I’m always proud of how steady Luke is,” Nelson said. “He’s someone I can trust and count on and coach and I love that. He’s a great kid to have in the lineup. He’s been working hard on his game and it’s showing because at a national championship he just really played a really good round for us.”

The Tigers also got a 3-over 75 from Connor Gaunt, who had birdies at the par 5 10th, par 4 17th and par 5 18th to get his round home. Jay Mendell, Alex Price and Lance Yates all finished at 4-over 76 for LSU.

Gaunt, Yates and Haskew all posted birdies on the par 5, 596-yard 10th hole and Gaunt, Mendell and Yates birdied the par 5, 605-yard 18th hole.

LSU for its five players, the Tigers came home in just 4-over par with eight birdies, all on the back nine.

That bodes well for Coach Nelson as his team starts its second round Saturday afternoon at hole No. 10.

“We get to start on 10 (Saturday) so we need to come out and birdie that hole right away,” said Nelson. “I knew that was coming because I was watching scores and there were a lot of birdies and I am glad to see we took care of those holes as well. That’s going to matter. There’s a lot of golf ahead of us. I’m excited to start there (Saturday).”
The course scoring average for the morning session was 76.15, four over on the 7,500-yard layout. The 10th and 18th holes were the only two that played under par.

LSU was second among the early finishers in pars with 58.

LSU will be off in the afternoon wave off the 10th tee at 1:17 p.m. PDT (3:17 p.m. Baton Rouge time) as the teams that played in the morning on Friday, will play in the afternoon on Saturday. The field will be repaired for the third round on Sunday.

Live scoring for the round can be found at and the Green NCAA D1 Championships tab. Updates during the round are available @LSUMensgolf and @LSUKent.

LSU Scores (positions as end of first round)
T41. Luke Haskew – 38-36 – 74 +2
T63. Connor Gaunt – 39-36 – 75 +3
T81. Jay Mendell – 38-38 – 76 +4
T81. Alex Price – 38-38 – 76 +4
T81. Lance Yates – 40-36 – 76 +4