ERIE, Colo. — The LSU Lady Tigers posted their best finish in an NCAA regional golf tournament Saturday when they tied for first with UCLA in the final round of the West regional at the Colorado National Golf Club.
It is LSU”s fourth win of the season, marking the second-best season for wins in program history. Only the 1986 team, with five wins, had more championships.
The seventh-ranked Lady Tigers qualified for the national championship for the 12th time, and the third time in the past four years. Coach Karen Bahnsen has taken the team to 11 national tournaments.
Last year, LSU finished a program-best third in the championships at Bryan, Texas. Then-freshman Austin Ernst won the NCAA individual championship.
LSU posted consistent rounds of 291, 290 and 292 to finish at 9-over 873, with UCLA shot 873 on rounds of 290, 296 and 287.
“This team worked so hard for this event,” Bahnsen said. “They are just very confident in what they can do. It was just a case of letting them go play. They played with such confidence. You could see it as the tournament went on.”
Plus they had to fight some of the coldest conditions that LSU has had to play in since the NCAA tournament in Albuquerque in 2008: Rounds two and three were played with temperatures in the mid-40s.
Ernst finished second in the individual standings with a 54-hole total of 6-under 210 (71-69-70). Catherine O’Donnell of North Carolina won the title with a 7-under 209 (70-69-70).
LSU freshman Madelene Sagstrom completed her rally from 54th place after the first round to finish in a tie for eighth after a 1-under 71 in the final round. She had rounds of 76-70-71 to finish at 1-over 217.
Also advancing in the team competition from the West regional were Pepperdine at 875, and Colorado at 877, Baylor at 879, Stanford at 879, North Carolina at 880 and Oklahoma at 890.
In all, seven SEC teams advanced to the 24-team NCAA tournament, with South Carolina, Alabama and Florida getting in from the East regional, and host Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Arkansas from the Central regional.