HANAHAN, S.C. – Momentum continued into the opening round of the season as the Mississippi State women's golf team fired a six-under-par 282 in the first round of the Cougar Classic behind junior Ally McDonald's school-record 6-under-par 66.
Without a tournament title since 2004, Ginger Brown-Lemm’s squad produced the third-lowest 18-hole score in school history.
"The team had a very solid day today," fourth-year MSU coach Brown-Lemm said. "We talked about being patient, this course rewards that. Amazingly enough, we left several shots out there, maybe some nerves, but overall we are off to a great start."
McDonald is tied for first after matching the second-lowest score in the Cougar Classic’s 11-year history. The Fulton, Miss., native got off to a fantastic start with birdies on the first two holes of the season and finished the day with seven birdies overall.
Senior Mary Langdon Gallagher finished tied for fourth by setting a new career best with a three-under-par 69 for MSU’s second-best team score. The veteran notched a birdie-par-bogey-par finish to the front nine followed by three birdies on the back.
Rica Tse started the season with a one-over-par 73 and made her third career eagle on hole 15. Tied for 25th for the event, Tse capped off her first round posting eagle-par-par-birdie on the final four holes.
Freshman debutant Ji Eun Baik made a fabulous introduction to her college career with a two-over-par 74. Baik struggled on the front nine but produced a birdie and eight pars after the turn. Rounding out the MSU scorecard was freshman Jessica Peng with a 78 who finished her round with an eagle.
No. 20 South Carolina and Clemson each hold a share of second heading into the second round as both posted three-under-par 285 rounds. Brittany Marchand of North Carolina State is the competitor tied with McDonald for the individual lead.
Second-round action will begin at 7:45 a.m. CST Monday, with MSU set to tee off alongside Clemson and Wisconsin on hole one.
Live stats and post-round results will be available through Hailstate.com.
First Round - September 8, 2013
1. No. 30 Mississippi State (282, -6); T2. No. 20 South Carolina (285, -3); T2. Clemson (285, -3); T4. NC State (287, -1); T4. Wake Forest (287, -1); T6. College of Charleston (289, +1); T6. No. 19 Baylor (289, +1); 8. No. 14 Florida (291, +3); T9. Auburn (295, +7); T9. LSU (295, +7); T11. Furman (298, +10); T11. Wisconsin (298, +10); T13. Penn State (299, +11); T13. Tennessee (299, +11); T13. Maryland (299, +11); 16. Missouri (302, +14). 17. Coastal Carolina (303, +15). 18. Mississippi (305, +17). 19. UNCG (314, +26). 20. Charleston Southern (329, +41)