Mississippi State University's women's golf team shot five under on the back nine in the final round of the Schooner Classic to come in third place on Sunday.
In the final four holes, the Bulldogs made eight birdies, marking their best finish of the season with MSU’s own Magnolia Invitational on the horizon. Head coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said, in a press release sent out by the MSU Athletic Department, the team is heading in a direction to have a good finish.
“We have been trending in this direction since our first event," Brown-Lemm said. "We have been waiting and watching for the day it all comes together, and today was that day.”
The weekend teed off on Friday with MSU’s Clara Moyano, a senior from Madrid, Spain, shooting a four-under par 66, tying for fourth lowest round in program history, despite windy playing conditions.
“I was just really focusing on the target that I wanted to hit, committing to it and swinging freely,” Moyano said. “The conditions were tough out there today. So, being patient was the key to a successful round.”
MSU would moved from fourth place after the round on Friday to sixth place on Saturday. A four-over par score for the team reflected hole placements that limited scoring for MSU. Brown-Lemm said she was excited about how her team handled the round.
“I’m excited about the resilience we showed,” Brown-Lemm said. “They never gave up and finished strong. The tough hole placements did not allow us to take advantage of lesser wind, but we showed maturity in our patience and our process.”
In the final round Ashley Gilliam, a freshman from Manchester, Tennessee, shot 65 to help lead the Bulldogs to a third place finish. Gilliam’s five-under par final round is tied for the second lowest round by a Bulldog freshman in program history.
Gilliam said her ball striking had been good all week, but in the final round on Sunday her putts started dropping, as she climbed 22 spots on the leaderboard to come in third place.
“I stayed really patient all week," Gilliam said. "I was hitting it well and hit a lot of fairways and greens, but just wasn't dropping putts. I stuck with my process and got some putts to drop today."
Just as Gilliam stayed patient throughout the day, Brown-Lemm said the team displayed patience as they fought to finish in the top five after starting the round in sixth place.
“We held our own through 20-mile per hour winds, but a struggling middle stretch of holes found us shaky,” Brown-Lemm said. “Our players were determined to turn it around and did just that."