LSU women's golf will enter the quarterfinals of the SEC championship on Saturday as the No. 1 seed.
Following three rounds of exquisite play, the women’s squad will face off against No. 8 seeded Arkansas. Lindblad continues to stamp LSU’s record-book with a 54-hole score record.
On Wednesday, the purple and gold shot a collective 16-under, breaking a conference and school record for lowest single round score. On Thursday, the squad responded relentlessly, posting a 12-under. On Friday, the team shattered the newly broken record with a score of 18-under, closing out the stroke play portion of the championship 46-under, a SEC Championship record.
The two record-breaking performances, in addition to the overlooked 12-under, poised them atop of the leaderboard, 11 strokes ahead of second place South Carolina. The squad fared quite well in stroke-play, but now can the team continue to go low and edge their competitors in match-play?
Leading up to this week sophomore Ingrid Lindblad told The Reveille that she was “very excited for SEC’s” and that she can count on her team to roll in birdies, which is a crucial element of match-play.
Lindblad nearly did it again, again, again. Lindblad has won the individual title at her last two events: The Liz Murphey in Georgia and the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge. This week she nearly squeaked out a third consecutive title. She finished in second at 14-under for the three rounds of stroke play, 3 shots off the lead, Pauline Roussin-Bouchard of South Carolina.
Lindblad’s round on Friday was impressive to say the least. After posting scores of 3-under for the first two rounds, Lindblad exploded, shooting a 8-under, 64, on Friday. The scorecard she signed consisted of 10 pars and 8 birdies.
Lindblad opened her round with four quick birdies on holes two through five and then again on nine. On the back nine, Lindblad’s ride on the birdie train was condensed with stops on 11, 14 and 18.
Fellow sophomore Latanna Stone was also aboard the same train: She rolled in nine birdies. However, beginning on the fifth hole Stone hit a small speed bump, carding a double bogey on the par-4, fifth hole and a bogey on the par-4, seventh. Stone closed out stroke-play in fourth at 12-under.
Senior Kendall Griffin showed that she is looking to leave the program she has called home for four years better than she joined it. Griffin shot a 3-under, 69, on Friday, tying her for 5th at 11-under. Junior Alden Wallace, who is a relatively new addition to the travel team, proved her worth this week, posting a 8-under, tied for 10th.
Freshman Carla Tejedo Mulet has been LSU secret weapon this year. A native of Castellon de Plana, Spain, she came to Baton Rouge earlier this summer with a winning agenda. On Friday she was not able to find as many birdies as her teammates. Mulet finished 2-under tied for 31st among a field of 70.
LSU dominance in stroke play lies within that they lead the field for scoring and average strokes on par-threes, fours and fives. On the short holes, the Tigers averaged three strokes and scored even-par. On the par-fours they averaged 3.86 strokes and scored 21-under, and on the long par-fives they average 4.57 strokes and scored 26-under.
To add to that if that was not enough, the squad rolled in a total of 79 birdies throughout the three rounds. Auburn came somewhat close with 64. Stone also seized the par-fours at Greystone, leading the field average 2.58 strokes and scored 5-under.
The two-day match-play event will begin on Saturday at 7 a.m. when LSU will compete against Arkansas to earn a spot in the semifinals which will also be played on Saturday. On Sunday, the championship match will be televised on SEC network.