BATON ROUGE, La. ?? After piecing together one of its most complete efforts of the 2006-07 season, the University of Alabama women’s golf team earned a fifth-place finish at the LSU/Cleveland Golf Classic in Baton Rouge, La.
The Tide fired a final round score of 300 to give UA a three-round team score of 899 and earn the top-five finish, the first of the spring season for the team. Alabama tallied two top-five efforts in fall competition.
“All things considered, I think we had a good weekend,” said Alabama head coach Mic Potter. “We got a top-five finish, some needed wins over teams in our region and we beat some top-20 teams. We had a slow start in the final round with some three-putts, but we battled back and hung on to that top-five finish.”
Two-time defending NCAA champion Duke won the team title at the 21-team event over a field that featured seven top-25 units. The Blue Devils fired an 872 for 54 holes to capture the championship.
Four Southeastern Conference schools finished in the top five, including the Tide, as Vanderbilt earned runner-up honors. Auburn placed third and Tennessee edged the Tide for fourth place by seven strokes.
Amanda Blumenhurst of Duke won the medal, beating Nicole Hage of Auburn by eight strokes.
Sarah Sturm and teammate Jenny Suh led the Tide at the event, as each finished with three-round scores of 224. The duo tied for 21st place in the individual standings.
Sturm had the team’s best score in the final round of play, as the junior from Spartanburg, S.C., fired an even-par 72 that includes three birdies, three bogeys and 12 pars. Sturm’s final round 72 effort was the lowest single-round score of the year.
Suh shot a 3-over 75 in the final round, recording one birdie to go with four bogeys and 13 pars on the day. The All-American senior has finished in the top 25 in each of the Tide’s seven events this season.
“Sarah really played well today for us,” said Potter. “Jenny struggled a bit, but she fought through it like she always does and helped us out. It was a good team effort this weekend.”
True freshman Helena Blomberg had a career weekend for the Tide. Blomberg, who shot a 3-over 75 in the final round of play, finished with a three-day score of 226, setting a new career mark for 54 holes for the native of Sweden. Blomberg finished in a tie for 31st place at the event, which was also the highest finish of her young career.
Laura Goodwin joined Suh and Sturm in the top 30 in the individual standings, finishing in a tie for 28th place. Goodwin, a sophomore from Birmingham, shot rounds of 73, 74 and 78 at the event.
Rhea Nair also competed for UA at the LSU/Cleveland Classic, firing a 244 and tying for 90th place.
The Tide competes next at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in Athens, Ga., on March 23-25, the final event of the spring season prior to the SEC Championship in late April.