Often heralded as one of the premier golf events in the southeast each year, the Mercedes-Benz Women's Collegiate Championship pits some of the top teams and individuals against each other. The Lady Bulldogs will be appearing in the Tennessee-hosted event for the second-straight year. Last year's edition played host to the SEC/Pac-12 Challenge.
"This is going to be a big test for us, not only physically, but also mentally," third-year MSU coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said. "Holston Hills is one of the longest setups we will see all season. We must focus on putting ourselves in good position around the green and execute our short game to be successful. We will also be facing some of the top programs in the nation, which will really test our young team. If we focus on our game and being one shot warriors, we can see some low numbers this weekend."
11 of the 16 teams in the field advanced or had an individual advance to the NCAA postseason a year ago. No. 27 Tennessee and No. 23 Texas A&M will be the only in-conference foes the Lady Bulldogs will see. Other teams include Chattanooga, No. 48 East Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Florida State, Furman, No. 14 Iowa State, James Madison, Memphis, Miami, No. 10 Northwestern, No. 31 Penn State, Purdue and UTSA.
The Lady Bulldogs will travel with the same lineup from the Johnie Imes Invitational a week ago. Co-captains Mary Langdon Gallagher and Ally McDonald will lead the way for MSU. Also making the trip will be Rica Tse, Logan Chaney and Gabi Oubre'.
McDonald is off to a strong start early in her sophomore campaign. After finishing fourth at "The Waverly," the Fulton native posted another Top 10 tally in Columbia, Mo. Her 72.00 scoring clip ranks her fourth in the SEC and 31st nationally.
"Ally is off to a hot start, as expected," Brown-Lemm said. "She has the chance this weekend to go head-to-head with some of the top players in the nation and show that she belongs near the top of that group."
The freshmen duo has provided flashes of greatness in each of MSU's first two events. Oubre's 76.67 and Chaney's 78.17 average scoring clip ranks third and fourth on the team, respectively.
"I've been proud of the way our freshmen have played so far this season," Brown-Lemm said. "Gabi and Logan have turned in some great rounds, but this weekend will be the biggest test for them mentally and physically so far this season. I know they are both up to the challenge, and I'm ready to see them take another step with this program."