In the final round of the Magnolia Invitational at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, the Mississippi State University Women's Golf Team fought to finish second place, their best results this season.
Just four weeks prior, the Bulldogs had made a run in the final round to finish third in the Schooner Classic hosted by Oklahoma. Instead of braving strong winds, the Bulldogs had to play two rounds in one day in order to beat out the rain that would come Tuesday. Head coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said it was a great day for the team in a press release from the MSU athletic department.
“We are a great final round team, rising to the occasion and enjoying the competition,” Brown-Lemm said. “Yet again, we showed we have what it takes to compete for championships.”
In the final round, MSU came four strokes shy of first place finishers, Louisiana State University. For the first time since 2014-2015, MSU has secured two top-three finishes. Shooting 279 as a team in the Magnolia Invitational marks the fourth lowest round in program history and is a tournament best.
The Bulldogs did not get off to a strong start in the tournament as they were six over par and five shots behind LSU at the conclusion of the first day. Brown-Lemm said the team played hard in unfavorable conditions and even made a prediction for what would happen on Monday.
“We struggled to finish on number 18, which is the toughest hole on the course, so we are looking for revenge tomorrow,” Lemm said. “Having 36 holes left, two-thirds of the event, it’s clear that this team is hungry and talented. I look forward to an incredible day tomorrow for the Bulldogs.”
It was an incredible day for Ashley Gilliam, a freshman from Manchester, Tennessee, who led the team on the very course where she played in the Woman’s Amatuer Championships this summer. Gilliam finished third overall, shooting six under for the tournament.
After 36 holes of golf on Monday, Gilliam felt she played well because she was able to be patient with the course, putting herself in position to make putts.
“Shooting 4 birdies in a row on the front nine in the final round was a solid performance,” Gilliam said. “It was a great day for the team and I’m really proud of how we came out of this.”
The last fall tournament for the Bulldogs will be trip to Paradise Island in the Bahamas, as they compete in the White Sands Invitational at the Ocean Club golf course from Oct. 28-30.
While the team played well and finished in second place, Brown-Lemm said she thought the team could do better by avoiding shooting over par on holes when they made birdies on another.
“We will continue to clean up a few bogeys that negate the hard work of so many birdies,” Brown-Lemm said. “Our short game and putting will continue to be our focus points as we prepare for our last event of the fall. Always great to host at home and show off our incredible facilities and hospitality of Mississippi State”.