Lady Bulldogs Aim To Continue Strong Play At SEC Championship
Feature eight of the Top 25 teams and 11 of the Top 40, the tournament field is one of the fiercest fields in collegiate golf. No. 2 Alabama leads the way followed by No. 5 Auburn, No. 7 LSU, No. 9 Georgia, No. 10 Vanderbilt, No. 13 Tennessee, No. 15 Florida and No. 24 South Carolina. Arkansas comes in at No. 36 while Ole Miss and Kentucky round out the rest of the field at No. 39 and No. 41, respectively.
"We have had a few strong tournaments this spring leading up to the SEC Championship," MSU coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said. "We are going to use that momentum to have a strong showing for our young squad. We are continuing our work to get better every day in the short game as well as good decision-making. We will have the strongest venue of the year to utilize and showcase those skills."
Freshman standout Ally McDonald is on pace to break MSU's all-time single-season scoring average record. Amanda Mathis currently holds the record at 74.20 from the 2005-06 season, while McDonald owns a 73.75 clip.
The Fulton native also aims to become the first Lady Bulldog to see postseason play since that 2005-06 club competed in the Wake Forest-hosted East Regional.
"Ally continues to move up in the rankings, and we hope that she qualifies as an individual for an NCAA Regional," Brown-Lemm said. "It would be a milestone for our program, but we will be there as a team in the very near future. We are building on the talent here and recruiting some of the best players in the world to join us and assist us in accomplishing our goal of an SEC Championship."
McDonald has team up with fellow freshmen Rica Tse and Elena Warren to be ranked as the fifth-best freshmen class in the nation according to GolfStat.com's Freshman Impact Rankings.
Tse has earned her spot just behind McDonald. The New Zealand native has turned in the Maroon and White' s second-best card in the last three events and in four of the last six. Her 76.88 average card is on pace to be the seventh-lowest season scoring average in the Lady Bulldog record book.
Warren is coming off one of the best two-tournament stretch of the season. Her first-round 72 in the John Kirk/Panther Intercollegiate still stands as her career-low round.
Senior Perry Katherine Furr is appearing in her last event wearing the Maroon and White. The Wesson, Miss., native turned in the best event of her career to conclude the fall slate when she notched a 231 in the Betsy Rawls Invitational.
Sophomore Mary Langdon Gallagher is also making the trip for MSU. It is her 19th-consecutive event appearance, the longest active streak on the team. Her 52 career rounds-played ranks second only to Furr. The Greenwood native battled a shoulder injury during the spring season but still managed to carve nearly two strokes off her scoring average from her rookie campaign.
Live stats will be available through HailState.com for each round. Tournament information can be found through the SEC website here.