With its two top players, Leona Maguire and Virginia Elena Carta, finding their form, Duke, No. 11 in the latest Golfstat rankings, completed a dominant performance in cruising to an 18-shot victory in the LSU Tiger Golf Classic, which concluded Sunday at The University Club in Baton Rouge, La.
Maguire, a junior from Ireland and the No. 1 player in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), blitzed the 6,247-yard, par-71 University Club layout with rounds of 67 and 68 in Friday’s double round to quickly get to 9-under par. She needed only a 1-under 71 Sunday to finish at 10-under 206, four shots better than the runnerup, her teammate Carta.
The LSU Tiger Golf Classic was originally scheduled for single rounds Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but with bad weather in the forecast Saturday, tournament officials decided to play 36 holes Friday, take Saturday off and finish up with 18 holes Sunday.
Carta, a sophomore from Italy and the reigning NCAA individual champion, carded a 2-under 70 in the final round to finish second at 6-under 210.
And Maguire and Carta didn’t even have the low round of the day for the Blue Devils. That belonged to Ana Belac, a freshman from Slovenia, who fired a 3-under 69 to end up in a tie for 22nd at 6-over 222.
Duke, which led No. 10 Oklahoma State and No. 15 Arkansas by 13 shots after Friday’s double round, ended up with a final round of 5-under 283 to finish at 10-under 854. It was the second consecutive LSU Tiger Golf Classic title for the Blue Devils and their fourth overall.
The Cowgirls held on for second, matching par with a final-round 288, but their 8-over 872 total wasn’t in the same area code as the Blue Devils.
Arkansas posted a final-round 289 to finish third, a shot back of Oklahoma State at 9-over 873. No. 29 North Carolina State and No. 53 Denver finished in a tie for fourth at 16-over 880. The Wolfpack had a final-round 292 while the Pioneers fired a strong 3-under 285 in the final round to hang tough with some of the best teams in the country.
Duke also got a strong showing from Gurbani Singh, a junior from India, who had a final round of 1-over 73 to finish in a tie for 16th at 4-over 220. Sandy Choi, a senior from South Korea, finished in a tie for 47th at 230 after a final-round 75. Leona Maguire’s twin sister Lisa competed as an individual and had her best round of the tournament, a 3-over 75, to finish in a tie for 57th at 233.
Runnerup Oklahoma State ended up with two players in the top five in the individual chase. Kenzie Neisen, a junior from New Prague, Minn., matched the low round of the day with a 3-under 69 to finish alone in fourth at even-par 216. Maddie McCray, a junior from Wylie, Texas, also had a final-round 69 and was another shot behind Neisen in a tie for fifth at 1-over 217.
Third-place finisher Arkansas also had two players with top-five finishes. Cara Gorlei, a sophomore from South Africa, had a final-round 71 to finish alone in third place at 3-under 213, joining Leona Maguire and Carta as the only players to finish under par for the tournament. The University Club seemed to play pretty tough for everybody else.
Also for the Razorbacks, Maria Fassi, a sophomore from Mexico, matched par in the final round with a 72 to join McCray in the group tied for fifth at 1-over 217.
The third member of that group at 217 was North Carolina State’s India Clyburn, a sophomore from England. Clyburn matched par in the final round with a 72.
The Wolfpack’s Sarah Bae, a senior from Pinehurst, N.C., joined Clyburn in the top 10 as she had a final-round 75 to finish in a tie for eighth at 2-over 218.
Joining Bae at 218 were SMU’s Lindsey McCurdy, a senior from Kyle, Texas who had a final-round 74, and Kansas’ Yi-Tsen Chou, a freshman from Taiwan who also had a final-round 74.