The weather was not kind during the final rounds of the LSU women’s golf home season tournament this weekend. Saturday brought heat that made you wish you packed sunscreen and Sunday brought cold rain and winds that dipped temperatures down into the 40s and 50s.
None of that affected the Lady Tigers as they roared to a second place finish in the LSU Tiger Golf Classic.
“We knew this weather was coming,” coach Garrett Runion said. “We knew it was going to be a trying day and I think our ladies were ready. They got their mind ahead of time, they knew it was coming and they got in their bubble, put their head down and just grinded the whole way out. We put up a very strong final round which helped us secure a second place finish.”
The strong individual play of both sophomore Kendall Griffin and freshman Presley Baggett played a pivotal role in helping the team rise from fourth place at the beginning of play during the final round up to second to end the tournament.
Griffin shot 1-over 73 on her final round that would place her third overall out of the entire tournament field, and Baggett would shoot even par on her final round to secure her a tied sixth place finish in the tournament. The collective tournament rounds from the underclassmen made a huge difference for the Tigers to finish out the final day so well.
“Kendall, she’s been playing like a first-team All-American the last few tournaments,” Runion said. “She has improved the most by far this spring. She finished Top-10 last week in a strong field in a tough course and conditions, and then backs it up again with a third place finish. She’s just playing with a lot of confidence right now.”
Runion made it a point to credit the play of his young freshman Baggett too for her composure during the Tiger Golf Classic.
“Presley, our freshman, she’s had clean scorecards,” Runion said. “She’s the only player on our team right now that has had every round count for us this entire year. To do that as a freshman is extremely strong and she’s one that we’ve been able to depend on and rely on very much. It’s been awesome to watch them grow.”
There must certainly be a sense of pride and an advantage that came with the LSU women’s golf team playing in their own backyard against a bevy of highly competitive teams, especially in a field that included the likes of then ranked squads of No. 19 TCU, No. 25 Campbell and No. 39 Old Dominion.
“Absolutely, I mean I kind of got on them after the first two rounds because we weren’t doing the things that we needed to do that we know how to play this course,” Runion explained. “There is definitely a home course advantage and we didn’t do it the first two rounds. But we knew with this weather coming in where the pins and hole locations were gonna be, that we knew we had an advantage and they acted like it today.”
With three ranked teams in this tournament, LSU picked up wins against two of them, TCU and Old Dominion, as the Fighting Lady Camels of Campbell University would end up winning the LSU Tiger Golf Classic.
LSU’s finish in the tournament is a definite confident boost going forward and proves they too can play with and beat other ranked teams. The Tigers will look to keep this momentum going into their next tournament on April 7 in Sunset, South Carolina, for the Clemson Invitational.