The 1-over-par ties for the second-best round in program history and ties for the best round in the Ginger Brown-Lemm era.
MSU has posted a 289 in two of the last three rounds at the Ole Miss golf course after turning in a 1-over in last year’s second round. State went on to finish sixth in the event, a program-best finish for the Rebel Intercollegiate.
The Lady Bulldogs are on pace to tie the school record for consecutive Top 10 finishes with their ninth-consecutive Top 10.
State, along with Baylor, is five strokes back of tournament-leader Coastal Carolina. The Lady Chanticleers turned in a 4-under-par 284 to take control of the 18-team field.
“Our squad has made such progress,” Brown-Lemm said. “We are young, but the experience that our five have at this point is serving us very well. We practice hard, workout hard and dedicate time to training the way we think. All that effort is paying off in our mindset of ‘The only thing that matters is the next shot.’ We are going to enjoy the first round at the Rebel Invitational, but tomorrow morning we will start all over again with confidence of ‘one shot warriors.’”
McDonald’s 4-under-par 68 is not only her career-low, but also ties for the third-lowest individual round in program history. Her steady play resulted in five birdies and only one bogey and she is now only 11 birdies away from breaking the single-season school record (84).
Entering this weekend’s action, the sophomore had posted a 69 six times previously. McDonald held a 3-under-par entering the 18th hole, but the Fulton, Miss., native managed to reach the 350-yard par-4 and sunk a birdie putt for the first 68 of her career.
“Ally has had a great year and is really fine tuning some areas of her game as our season winds down,” Brown-Lemm said. “She was determined to break the 69 barrier that she has shot on multiple occasions today. We are proud of her opening round and look forward to two more rounds of solid golf.”
A trio of individuals turned in 5-under-par 67’s to tie for the top spot on the leaderboard, including No. 13 Hayley Davis (Baylor), No. 97 Madison Opfer (Tulane) and Chloe Garner (East Tennessee State).
Gabi Oubre’ and Mary Langdon Gallagher each posted a 1-over-par 73. It is Oubre’s second-best opening round of her young career, while it ties for Gallagher’s season-best round posted in the Mercedes Benz Women’s Collegiate Championship.
Of the other four Southeastern Conference teams in the field, No. 29 LSU and No. 34 Kentucky each carded 291’s to tie for fifth. Ole Miss notched a 301 and is 10th, while Missouri’s 310 earned it 15th-place.
First-round tee times were delayed two hours for the course to dry.
Second-round action will begin at 9:51 a.m. CST Saturday with the Lady Bulldogs slated to tee off at 11:30 alongside Coastal Carolina and Baylor on hole No. 1.
Live stats will be available through HailState.com. Fans can also follow the women’s golf program on Twitter, @mstateWG, and on Facebook at facebook.com/mstateWG
M&F Bank Rebel Intercollegiate
First Round – April 5, 2013
1. No. 49 Coastal Carolina (284, -4); T2. Mississippi State (289, +1); T2. No. 24 Baylor (289, +1); 4. East Tennessee State (290, +2); T5. No. 29 LSU (291, +3); T5. No. 34 Kentucky (291, +3); 7. No. 20 Tulane (293, +5); 8. Harvard (299, +11); 9. Furman (300, +12); 10. Ole Miss (301, +13); 11. Minnesota (303, +15); 12. Tulsa (305, +17); T13. Redlands Community College (307, +19); T13. Southern Miss (307, +19); 15. Missouri (310, +22); 16. Troy (312, +24); 17. Memphis (314, +26); 18. Murray State (317, +29).