Mississippi State women double up, win team and individual crown at 2022 Blessings Collegiate Invitational




  • In Sports/Golf
  • 2022-10-06 00:08:41Z
  • By USA TODAY Sports - Golfweek
 

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - As soon as Julia Lopez Ramirez's putt dropped, a loud barking sound came from the crowd behind the 12th green.

It was a common sound that echoed through the trees and hills that canvas The Blessings Golf Club on Wednesday. Lopez Ramirez, a sophomore on Mississippi State's golf team, just sank a birdie putt before the barking started. Mimicking a bulldog, which is Mississippi State's mascot, the sound reverberated through the property every time a player made a birdie during the final round of the 2022 Blessings Collegiate Invitational.

And there were a lot of birdies.

Mississippi State, which is eighth in the Golfweek Sagarin rankings, came from behind to capture its second straight tournament victory, and Lopez Ramirez was a huge reason why. She shot a 6-under 66 in the final round, finishing at 8 under for the week and beating Ole Miss' Andrea Lignell, the 36-hole leader, by six shots.

"Yesterday was a tough day for me, so I just practiced a lot between rounds," Lopez Ramirez said. "I got my energy back, as well as my patience, and it paid off."

Lopez Ramirez led after 18 holes but struggled during the second round. Those struggles, and the ones her team grinded through Tuesday, were nowhere to be seen come Wednesday.

The Bulldogs were the only team to shoot under par on Wednesday and recorded the two lowest team scores of the week.

"The toughness and trust that this team has in themselves is wonderful," Mississippi State coach Charlie Ewing said. "After a day like yesterday, they really trusted themselves, and they responded."

The Blessings Collegiate Invitational has a different format, with 11 men's and women's teams coming together and playing at the same time. In addition to that, all five players for each team play together at the same time instead of facing those from other schools.

No. 10 Ole Miss, which led after Tuesday's round by two shots, didn't play poorly during the final round but wasn't able to avoid costly mistakes.

Arkansas, which shot even-par as a team, finished at 25 over for the tournament and in third place. UCLA (29 over) and second-ranked Texas A&M (31 over) rounded out the top five.

In the individual race, Lopez Ramirez and Lignell were the only two golfers to finish under par. Ole Miss Chiara Tamburlini and Louisville's Carmen Griffiths tied for third at 2 over.

Meanwhile, for the Bulldogs, the victory sets them up for plentiful success for the remainder of the fall schedule and into the spring.

"We have a lot of confidence," Ewing said. "That's one thing as a coach, you love to see your team have confidence. But we also hit the golf shots needed to win. I hope they soak this one up."

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Story originally appeared on GolfWeek

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