HANAHAN, S.C. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – 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 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 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.
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.