The LSU men’s golf team is hoping one small success Tuesday will lead to big things as the Tigers build toward a championship season.
LSU held an intimate six-team tournament Tuesday at the University Club, with the No. 17-ranked Tigers shooting 6-under-par 570 to romp to a 25-stroke victory over Southeastern Louisiana.
Next up: one last regular-season tournament this weekend in the Aggie Invitational in Bryan, Texas. Then it’s off to the SEC championship and an NCAA regional, as the Tigers hope to reprise their conference and national championships from a year ago.
LSU won its spring opener in La Quinta, Calfornia, over a strong field. The Tigers stumbled a bit to a 10th-place showing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, but rebounded with a second-place finish last week against another strong field in Palm City, Florida.
“We backed that up today with some really good play,” LSU coach Chuck Winstead said. “Hopefully we’re starting to find our way.”
The Tigers only led SLU by two strokes after the morning round but poured it on in the afternoon with a 5-under 283 to pull away to their third win of 2015-16. LSU also won the David Toms Intercollegiate at the U-Club in October.
Three Tigers tied for first place at 1-under 143: Zach Wright, Eric Ricard and freshman Luis Gagne. Another freshman, former world junior No. 1 Sam Burns, was fourth at 144.
“It was a really good day for Eric Ricard,” Winstead said. “He’s a really good player. He won our home event but he hasn’t had the finishes he knows he’s capable of. For him to play the way he did today is a good sign for him and our team.”
The 36-hole, one-day event was an ad-libbed addition to the LSU spring schedule.
The NCAA allows golf teams 24 days of regular-season competition. Seeing his team was only going to use 23, Winstead decided to invite as many schools as he could get to the U-Club for a quick shot of competition.
In the end, five teams accepted. Nicholls State was third at 613, followed by Lamar (623), UNO (633) and Jackson State (694). SLU’s Lawrence Allen was the top non-LSU individual, tying for fifth at 146.
Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.