"I am thrilled with our final round today," third-year MSU coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said. "In our team meeting, we discussed how many times we have seen a team behind by as many as 10 shots come back and shock the field with a great round, moving way up the leaderboard. I told them we could be that team. We were eight back of second and that was the goal."
Entering Sunday's final round, the Lady Bulldogs were in sixth-place and eight strokes behind second-place Elon. Behind the team's 11-birdie performance, MSU climbed the leaderboard and recorded its best tournament finish since claiming second a year ago in the John/Kirk Panther Intercollegiate.
"The conditions were actually the toughest of the three days and we were focused on our game," Brown-Lemm added. "We struggled on the front as a team and played the back very well. When we made the turn at five-over, I knew we had a great opportunity to tear up the back. We played the back even par. It was a great feeling for our young team to come back in the final round and finish well."
Over the three rounds, State played the front nine at 23-over but managed to dominate the back nine at only 4-over.
The runner-up finish improves MSU's overall record to 59-28-1 on the year, which is the most wins for a Lady Bulldog squad since the 2006 NCAA postseason-qualifier team posted 79 wins. The 2013 Dogs still have four events remaining.
The 293 ties for the ninth-lowest round in MSU history, while State's three-round 891 ties for fifth-best all-time and second-best in the Brown-Lemm era.
McDonald turned in par for the final round and earned a share of second-place individually. She took control of the golf course during the first round with a 3-under-par 69 before carding a 74 for the second. The Fulton, Miss., native claimed her third Top 3 finish this season and fourth of her career.
Fellow sophomore Rica Tse reclaimed her groove with a final-round 1-under-par 71. Her three-round 6-over-par 222 earned the New Zealand native a share of 13th-place, her fourth Top 25 card of the season.
Junior Mary Langdon Gallagher posted a tournament personal-best 2-over-par 74 on Sunday to tally 228 for the tournament, narrowly missing a Top 25 finish.
Freshman Logan Chaney also competed in the tournament as an individual and turned in a 24-over-par 240.
No. 36 Campbell claimed the JMU/Eagle Landing Invitational title with a 6-over-par 870, while East Carolina finished just behind MSU in third-place with a 33-over-par 897.
F. Gustafsson Spang garnered the individual crown with a 4-under-par 212. She matched McDonald's opening-round 69 and secured her spot atop the leaderboard with a second-round 2-under-par 70.
The Lady Bulldogs return to action Friday, March 15, in Gainesville for the SunTrust Gator Women's Invitational.
Until then, fans can follow the women's golf program on Twitter, @mstateWG, and on Facebook at facebook.com/mstateWG
Final Round - March 10, 2013
1. No. 36 Campbell (293-290-287=870, +6); 2. Mississippi State (300-298-293=891, +27); 3. East Carolina (302-289-306=897, +33); 4. James Madison (297-296-310=903, +39); T5. East Tennessee State (304-299-301=904, +40); T5. Chattanooga (302-295-307=904, +40); 7. Georgia State (301-299-305=905, +41); 8. Old Dominion (296-304-306=906, +42); 9. Elon (293-297-306=906, +47); 10. Kennesaw State (300-303-313=916, +52); 11. Stetson (302-306-312=920, +56); 12. UNC-Wilmington (313-304-305=922, +58); 13. Jacksonville (308-305-305=926, +62); 14. Samford (305-311-313=929, +65); 15. Morehead State (314-312305=931, +67); 16. North Florida (312-310-314=936, +72); 17. Western Carolina (317-322-317=956, +92).
T80. Logan Chaney 82-79-79=240, +24*
*Competed as an individual