The Lady Bulldogs suffered a few early bogeys as showers passed over the course but quickly settled in for the round. The damp conditions provided opportunities for MSU to attack the traditionally hard greens and sink a few birdie chances.
MSU’s 292 is the lowest postseason round in program history and tied them for seventh in the 24-team field with No. 15 Arizona State, Wisconsin and Indiana. State’s best postseason finish came with a 12th-place card (905, +53) in the 2002 NCAA East Regional.
“This is a great spot to be,” third-year MSU coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said. “We read an article that listed all the teams that were here: who was expected to move through, who was expected to win and who was just glad to be here. Well we were listed in the unfortunate category of those that were just glad to be here. So obviously we used that as inspiration for today’s play and we were able to rise to the occasion.
With her seventh-career 3-under-par 69, No. 29 McDonald is only two shots back of tourney leader No. 49 Emily Collins (Oklahoma). The Fulton native posted four birdies on the day including a pair back-to-back on holes 16 and 17. Her only bogey came as she knocked a downhill putt for birdie too far past the hole on No. 9.
Warren fired a career-best 71 and earned a share of 13th through 18 holes. After stumbling with a pair of bogeys on the first two holes, the Austin native regrouped to card three birdies over her next six holes. After bogeying No. 10, she guided her tee shot to within a yard of the flagstick on the par-3 12th hole.
SEC-foe and ninth-ranked Florida is the current leader after firing a 282 Thursday morning. No. 4 Oklahoma (283) and No. 3 Duke (284) round out the Top 3.
Second-round action is set to begin at 7:30 a.m. CT Friday, with the Lady Bulldogs slated to tee off on hole No. 10 at 8:25 a.m.
The top eight teams from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championships at the UGA Golf Course in Athens, Ga. The top two players on a non-advancing team will also qualify for the finals as individuals.
Live stats and post round results 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.
NCAA Central Regional
Final Round – May 9, 2013
1. No. 9 Florida (282, -6); 2. No. 4 Oklahoma (283, -5); 3. No. 3 Duke (284, -4); 4. No. 45 TCU (291, +3); T5. No. 27 Michigan State (291, +3); T5. No. 16 UC Davis (291, +3); T7. Mississippi State (292, +4); T7. No. 15 Arizona State (292, +4); T7. Wisconsin (292, +4); T7. Indiana (292, +4); 11. No. 39 Coastal Carolina (293, +5); T12. No. 28 Iowa State (294, +6); T12. No. 10 Washington (294, +6); T12. No. 22 NC State (294, +6); T15. No 21 Texas Tech (296, +8); T15. No. 33 SMU (296, +8); 17. No. 41 Wake Forest (299, +11); T18. No. 34 Campbell (301, +13); T18. Illinois State (301, +13); 20. UTSA (302, +14); T21. No. 46 Gonzaga (303, +15); T21. Lamar (303, +15); 23. Butler (304, +16); 24. Detroit (312, +24).