After notching an 18-over 306 during Friday’s first round, the Lady Bulldogs posted a 303 for the second round and climbed to second entering the final round. MSU managed a 313 on Sunday to hold onto its Top 5 card.
Not only did the share of fifth place tie the best conference finish from the 2000 championships, but it also broke the school record for consecutive Top 10 finishes as State has posted a Top 10 card in all 10 events it has appeared in this season.
Second-ranked Alabama ran away with the conference championship claiming a 14-stroke victory against second-place No. 18 Georgia. The Crimson Tide were the only team to post a sub-300 card, a 293 in the second round.
Entering the SEC Championship, MSU was 2-10-1 against the SEC on the season but posted an 8-4-1 ledger against the conference this weekend.
“I could not have asked for more from the team this weekend,” third-year MSU coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said. “All season we have preached focusing on one shot at a time and sticking to a routine and this weekend each and everyone of the girls accomplished that.
"I cannot express how proud I am of these girls, this program and Mississippi State. They never gave in throughout the whole season and kept working and fighting. I’m so glad they were able to see the benefits of all that hard work this weekend.
“Other schools and recruits are starting to recognize where this program is going and what we can accomplish here. We will enjoy our successes this weekend, but tomorrow starts a new week. We will be back at work preparing for our next step.”
No. 34 Ally McDonald posted a 7-over-par 79 to secure a share of third place after posting a 77 and 70 during the first two rounds. It is the standout sophomore’s second-consecutive Top 3 finish and fifth Top 5 tally in the last seven events.
“Ally is the epitome of a Bulldog,” Brown-Lemm said. “She grinds it out every tournament and can compete with the best in the nation. I’m very proud of her and the way she played. Ally will win the conference title one day. She is too talented and too determined not to.”
Gallagher stormed out of the gates during the opening round, posting a 3-over-par 75 and leading MSU on the leaderboard. After notching a 75 and 82 during the final two rounds, the junior secured a share of 19th place, which is also a season-best for her.
No. 2 Stephanie Meadow of Alabama claimed the individual crown with a 216, while Sarah Harris of Kentucky posted a 225 for runner-up honors.
The Lady Bulldogs will await the NCAA Regional field to be announced Monday, April 29. Although they have not appeared in postseason play as a team since 2006, this week’s strong showing all but solidifies their spot in this year’s field.
“Coming into this weekend, I already thought we were in a good position,” Brown-Lemm said. “After the we way played and the teams we beat, I feel very confident that we will continue our season in a couple of weeks at a regional.”
Until then, fans can follow the women’s golf program on Twitter, @mstateWG, and on Facebook at facebook.com/mstateWG
Final Round – April 21, 2013
1. No. 2 Alabama (304-293-302=899, +35); 2. No. 18 Georgia (306-305-302=913, +49); 3. No. 40 South Carolina (306-309-303=918, +54); 4. No. 8 Vanderbilt (309-309-301=919, +55); T5. Mississippi State (306-303-313=922, +58); T5. No. 34 Kentucky (306-308-308=922, +58); T7. No. 6 Arkansas (313-308-302=923, +59); T7. No. 31 LSU (303-311-309=923, +59); 9. No. 32 Tennessee (312-309-308=929, +65); 10. No. 43 Auburn (321-306-306=933, +69); 11. No. 24 Texas A&M (318-306-307=934, +70); 12. Ole Miss (317-321-303=941, +77); 13. No. 7 Florida (315-318-319=952, +88); T14. Missouri (312-321-322=955, +91).
MSU INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
T3. No. 34 Ally McDonald 77-70-79=226, +10
T8. Rica Tse 77-78-73=228, +12
T19. Mary Langdon Gallagher 75-75-82=231, +15
T57. Elena Warren 77-83-80=241, +25
T64. Gabi Oubre’ 81-80-84=245, +29