LSU's Lindblad finishes fifth in NCAA women's golf
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- LSU senior Ingrid Lindblad tied the school scoring mark for 72 holes in finishing in a tie for fifth place as the Tigers play in the 2023 NCAA Women's Golf Championships came to an end at Grayhawk Golf Club's Raptor Course Monday.
Meanwhille, on the final day of stroke play for individuals and teams, South Carolina and Texas A&M were the two SEC schools to advance to Tuesday's Match Play, The top eight teams in stroke play advanced, with South Carolina (+1) finishing fourth and Texas A&M (+4) finishing eighth.
Lindblad posted a 1-under par 71 on the final day of individual stroke play to finish at 7-under par 281 (70-72-68-71). When stroke play ended, she tied the LSU aggregate scoring record for 72 holes set originally by freshman Austin Ernst in 2011 when she won the NCAA Championship in 2011 at The Traditions Golf Club in Bryan, Texas.
Lindblad posted back-to-back top-five finishes after finishing in a tie for third a year ago at 1-under 287. Five LSU golfers - Lindblad twice, Ernst, Megan McChrystal, Tessa Teachman and Katy Harris - posted under par 72-hole totals in their NCAA play.
Rose Zhang of Stanford was the individual winner with a 10-under score of 278 after a final round of 68. She was one shot better than Lucia Lopez-Ortega of San Jose State and Catherine Park of Southern California who both posted 9-under 279.
Three other SEC golfers finished inside the top 20 in individual stroke play. Julia Lopez Ramirez (-4) of Mississippi State finished in 13th, followed closely by Andrea Lignell (-3) from Ole Miss in a tie for 14th and Hannah Darling (-2) from South Carolina in a tie for 18th.
LSU (+15) would finish seven shots shy of making the cut to the top eight for match play in a tie for 14th with fellow SEC competitor Georgia. Mississippi State (+13) finished one spot ahead of LSU and Georgia and also was eliminated.
The match play will start on Tuesday morning.
LSU, despite a bit of a shaky start, posted a solid round of 2-over par on the day to finish 72 holes at 15-over par 1,167.
The Tigers would also set a school mark for aggregate 72-hole total with the 1,167, topping the mark of 1,173 set by the 2011 LSU team that finished third in the NCAA Championships. The 2021 team in the NCAA Championships in Scottsdale posted 1,174.
LSU started the round eight shots out of the eighth spot but the Tigers were only able to get one counting birdie in the first six holes, going to 8-over for the day at that point. But this team, which rallied from eight down with less than nine holes to go in the NCAA Regional to get a qualifying spot, began to get its feet under them.
The Tigers on the par-5 seventh hole got birdies from Alden Wallace, Aine Donegan, Lindblad and an eagle three from Carla Tejedo. Latanna Stone and Donegan followed with birdies on the par 3 eighth hole. At one point early in the final nine holes, the Tigers rallied back to 1-under par in the round and three shots out of the eighth spot.
Besides Lindblad's 71, the Tigers got a great rebound round from sophomore Aine Donegan, who posted a 1-under 71, playing the last 12 holes in 4-under par. Carla Tejedo finished at 1-over 73 and Latanna Stone finished out with 3-over 75. Alden Wallace, who was playing for the Tigers for the third time in the Championships and for the first time since September, had a 77 in her final college round.
"We fought back today," said LSU Coach Garrett Runion. "It was nice to see Alden birdie the last hole of her college career after coming back for her fifth year. I was proud of Aine. She struggled the first three days and for her to step up for us when she needed to and shoot 1-under was outstanding. Two years in a row top five for Ingrid. That's pretty strong. It's been a great run for her at LSU.
"We just got off to slow starts all four days," Runion said of the team's third trip in three Championships at Grayhawk. "I was proud of the way they fought back and make it close and give it a shot. There's only one team that leaves here happy. I'm proud of the fact that we came here all three years and made the top 15 all three years. It's never easy. We had a great year. We won four times and won the stroke play at SECs. We were obviously hoping for a special year, but I'm proud of the way the ladies played all year long. We played some good golf and broke some LSU records. We look forward to what the future holds and what we need to do to get back again."
Lindblad birdied the two par fives on the front side and turned at 1-under 35 after a three-putt on the par 3 eighth hole. The putter did the Swede no favors as she was unable to drop birdie putts on nine, 10 and 11 before finally getting one to drop on 13. Lindblad bogeyed the par 4 14th and had a chance for the LSU individual 72-hole record on the 18th hole but her birdie putt stayed just outside the hole giving her 35-36 nines for her 71.
Lindblad did most of her work on the par 5s this week, tying for second in the field at 8-under par for the 72 holes. Stone and Tejedo played the par 3s for the week at 1-under par to lead the Tigers. Lindblad was best for the team on the par 4s at even par.
After three years in Scottsdale, the NCAA Championships will move to California as Texas will host the tournament in 2024, 2025 and 2026 at the remodeled La Costa Resort, the former site of the old PGA Tour Tournament of Champions.
NCAA WOMEN'S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS
Grayhawk Golf Club Raptor Course
Final Stroke Play Results for Teams (Top 8 Advance To Match Play on Tuesday)
1. Stanford 288-273-29-282 - 1133 (-19)
2. Texas 292-276-290-280 - 1138 (-14)
3. Wake Forest 279-280-299-281 - 1139 (-13)
4. South Carolina 286-276-302-289 - 1153 (+1)
5. Southern California 296-276-290-282 - 1154 (+2)
6. Florida State 288-286-289-292 - 1155 (+3)
7. Texas A&M 287-284-298-287 - 1156 (+4)
8. Pepperdine 295-279-296-290 - 1160 (+8)
(Did Not Advance)
T9. New Mexico 287-288-301-287 - 1163 (+11)
T9. Arizona 292-288-289-294 - 1163 (+11)
T11. SMU 291-295-295-283 - 1164 (+12)
T11. Oklahoma State 280-291-300-293 - 1164 (+12
13. Mississippi State 301-288-291-285 - 1165 (+13)
T14. Georgia 286-290-294-297 - 1167 (+15)
T14. LSU 294-288-295-290 - 1167 (+15)
Individual Top 5
1. Rose Zhang, Stanford - 72-67-71-68 - 278 (-10)
T2. Lucia Lopez-Ortega, San Jose State - 68-69-71-71 - 279 (-9)
T2. Catherine Park, Southern California - 71-64-71-73 - 279 (-9)
4. Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Oklahoma State - 66-70-74-70 - 280 (-8)
T5. Ingrid Lindblad, LSU - 70-72-68-71 - 281 (-7)
T5. Michelle Zhang, SMU - 72-72-67-70 - 281 (-7)