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UCLA, LSUs Ernst win women's NCAA golf titles

BRYAN, Texas – UCLA fought off a last-round surge by defending champion Purdue to win the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship by four strokes Saturday and LSU freshman Austin Ernst had a hole-in-one and shot a 6-under 66 to take the individual title by three strokes.

UCLA led by seven strokes after the third round, but trailed early in the fourth before regaining the lead on the back nine at the Traditions Club. The Bruins finished at 21-over 1,173 for their third national championship. They also won in 1991 and 2004.

Purdue’s Thea Hoffmeister was disqualified after signing for a score lower than she shot. So instead of counting her 75, the Boilermakers had to use Maude-Aimee LeBlanc’s 77. But it didn’t change the outcome of the tournament as Purdue finished at 25 over.

LSU was third at 29 over. The Tigers’ Ernst became the first freshman to win since 1998. She finished at 7-under 281.