Lady Tigers Capture Cleveland Golf Classic
BATON ROUGE, La. -- A mental attitude shaped by head coach Karen Bahnsen helped make the final day of the LSU/Cleveland Golf Classic a simple march down the fairway to the championship.
A couple of hours of rain? No problem. A slight delay in the start of the day? No problem. Worrying about giving up the lead? No problem whatsoever.
'It could have really affected it and we got so fortunate with the weather because it rained early on (in the round),' said Bahnsen. 'We're the type of team that we feel like we play good in bad weather. You could tell when it started out that it didn't phase them one bit. We practice a lot and we make sure that when there is bad weather we have the proper gear and we're prepared for it. That way we're prepared for it not only with our equipment, but mentally.'
LSU posted the best round of the day for the third consecutive day to make it a wire-to-wire finish as the 13th-ranked Lady Tigers posted a 15-over par score for 54 holes of 879. The win was LSU's third at the University Club in the 24-year spring tournament has been held on the Tigers' home course, but it was LSU's first in the event since 2001.
LSU's 879 ties for the fourth lowest 54 hole score in school history and the second lowest score LSU has shot this season. The Tigers posted a nine-over 873 in winning the opening Cougar Classic, sponsored by the College of Charleston in the fall.
The win was Coach's Karen Bahnsen's 28th team victory in her 21 years as the head coach of the Lady Tigers and it marked the first time since the 1996-97 season that LSU has won multiple tournaments during the season.
The Tigers final margin was 17 strokes ahead of 12th-ranked Tulane at 896 (302-297-297). The Green Wave was eight shots better than North Carolina State at 44-over 908 (303-301-304). Defending SEC champion Vanderbilt rounded out the top four at 50-over 914, one shot better than Mississippi State (915).
'I think the girls really handled themselves very well,' said Bahnsen of her team's focus. 'Again, they didn't focus on what they were trying to accomplish by winning. They stayed focused on playing the golf course and not trying to win. When you lose focus and start trying to win, that's when you do make mistakes. They did a good job of handling themselves mentally and emotionally, and they fought through it.'
Chris Brady of Vandy followed her second round 68 with a one-under 71 to finish at five-under par 211 for the 54-hole competition and a three-stroke win in the individual competition. Brady's 211 score ties for the second lowest ever shot in women's college tournament competition at the U-Club.
'Last year I played here at the SEC Championships and I came in fourth individually and (Vandy) won as a team. So, I hadn't won individually here. It's really exciting. I love the course and it's good to come back and win some more hardware,' Brady said.
Brady edged out freshman Rebecca Kuhn of Miami, who finished second at two-under par 214 (72-70-72). It was Kuhn's second consecutive top five finish, finishing fifth last week at South Carolina.
'With Rebecca playing as a freshman and coming in here and being able to handle herself in that position is really outstanding. She started off with a birdie on the first hole, and then she stumbled and had a couple of bogeys. She kind of got frustrated with herself, and then she was able to regroup and get her mind back on the right things. As a freshman to show that poise really says a lot. I think she's got a great future ahead of her. I'm just really proud of her,' said Bahnsen.
'It's hard being a freshman because you look at all of these people being so much older and maybe a little better than me. I'm just really proud of myself that I could accomplish this. This is my lowest score for three rounds ever, so I'm really proud of how I finished. I knew I was capable and it was just a matter of time before I was able to do this,' said Kuhn.
Alison Walshe of Tulane finished third at one-over 2317 and LSU senior Brooke Shelton had her third top 10 finish in the Cleveland Classic in four years, finishing in a tie for ninth at six-over 222.
There isn't much rest for the Lady Tigers as they will travel to Athens, Ga., for the Liz Murphey Intercollegiate which begins on Friday at the University of Georgia Golf Course.
Watch: Bubba casually hits flop shot over caddie's head
But when your end-of-year bonus is a couple of brand new vehicles, you're expected to go above and beyond every now and then.
One of those times came early Thursday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, where Bubba Watson’s caddie Ted Scott let his boss hit a flop shot over his head.
It wasn’t quite Phil Mickelson over Dave Pelz, but the again, nothing is.
And the unique warm-up session paid off, as Watson went on to defeat Marc Leishman 3 and 2 to move to 2-0-0 in group play.
Hey, whatever works.
Spieth explains why he won't play in a 'dome'
AUSTIN, Texas – No one at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play was as excited about Thursday’s forecast as Jordan Spieth.
Winds blew across Austin Country Club to 20 mph, which is typical for this time of year in Texas, and Spieth put in a typical performance, beating HaoTong Li, 4 and 2, to remain undefeated entering the final day of pool play.
The windy conditions were exactly what Spieth, who never trailed in his match, wanted. In fact, demanding conditions factor into how he sets his schedule.
“I have, and will continue to schedule tournaments away from a dome, because it's just unusual for me. I like having the feel aspect,” said Spieth, who attended the University of Texas and played Austin Country Club in college. “Places with no wind, where it's just driving range shots, it's just never been something I've been used to. So I don't really know what to do on them.”
Spieth used the CareerBuilder Challenge as an example. The Coachella Valley event rarely has windy conditions, and as a result he’s never played the tournament.
“I played in a dome in Phoenix, and I didn't strike the ball well there. Actually I've had quite a few this year, where we didn't have very windy conditions,” said Spieth, who will face Patrick Reed in his final pool play match on Friday. “I don't go to Palm Springs, never have, because of that. Look at where you can take weeks off and if they match up with places that potentially aren't the best for me, then it works out.”
Curry jokes about Romo's 77: 'Got him by a stroke'
This just in ... professional athletes are competitive. Even when they're playing their secondary sport.
Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption Thursday, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo started hot with an even-par 36 on his opening nine holes, but faded down the stretch to open with a 5-over 77.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Ron Kroichick, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry couldn't help but crack a smile when informed of the score, saying, "I got him by a stroke."
Just told @StephenCurry30 that Tony Romo finished 5-over in PGA Tour event in Dominican Republic. Curry smiled and said, "I got him by a stroke." He shot 4-over (twice) in https://t.co/gZ56s2K2Mk start last August.— Ron Kroichick (@ronkroichick) March 22, 2018
Curry was referencing his brief foray into pro golf last August, when he shot back-to-back 4-over 74s at the Web.com's Ellie Mae Classic.
So just in case Romo needed another reason to go low tomorrow when he tees off at 1 p.m. in the second round, he's got one.
Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3||Group 4|
|(1) D. Johnson: 0-2-0||(2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0||(3) J. Rahm: 0-0-1||(4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0|
|(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1||(21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0||(28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0||(19) P. Reed: 2-0-0|
|(38) A. Hadwin: 1-0-1
||(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0||(43) C. Reavie: 0-1-0||(34) H. Li: 0-2-0|
|(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
||(60) L. List: 0-1-0||(63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1||(49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0|
|Group 5||Group 6||Group 7||Group 8|
|(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0||(6) R. McIlroy: 1-1-0||(7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0||(8) J. Day: 1-0-0|
|(30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
||(18) B. Harman: 0-0-1||(20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0||(25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0|
|(46) C. Smith: 1-0-0||(44) J. Vegas: 0-1-1||(41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0||(42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0|
|(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0||(51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0||(62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0||(56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0|
|Group 9||Group 10||Group 11||Group 12|
|(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0||(10) P. Casey: 1-0-0||(11) M. Leishman: 0-2-0||(12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0|
|(26) D. Berger: 0-2-0||(31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0||(23) B. Grace: 1-1-0||(22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0|
|(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0||(45) K. Stanley: 1-0-0||(35) B. Watson: 2-0-0||(36) B. Steele: 1-0-0|
|(58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0||(51) R. Henley: 0-1-0||(64) J. Suri: 1-1-0||(55) A. Levy: 0-1-0|
|Group 13||Group 14||Group 15||Group 16|
|(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0||(14) P. Mickelson: 1-1-0||(15) P. Perez: 0-0-1||(16) M. Kuchar: 1-0-1|
|(29) T. Finau: 2-0-0||(17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-1-0||(24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1||(27) R. Fisher: 1-1-0|
|(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0||(40) S. Kodaira: 0-2-0||(37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1||(47) Y. Ikeda: 1-1-0|
|(61) K. Na: 0-2-0||(59) C. Howell III: 2-0-0||(50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1||(54) Z. Johnson: 0-1-1|