Rhodes and Lamoure Tie for the Lead in Day Two of the Annika Intercollegiate; South Carolina Leads Wake Forest By Three in the Team Competition

September 12, 2023 | 6 min.
By Joseph Oberle

LAKE ELMO, MINN. - When the clouds finally lifted on Day 2 of the Annika Intercollegiate golf tournament at Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo, Minn., on September 12, two new golfers stood tied atop the leaderboard. Mimi Rhodes from Wake Forest and Maylis Lamoure from the University of South Carolina finished at 7-under-par and just one stroke ahead of five more golfers at 6-under.

All the competitors were greeted with chilly temperatures in the low 60s that turned colder in afternoon winds and a late-round light rain shower. But what greeted the overnight leader, South Carolina’s Louise Rydqvist, who held a one-stroke lead at 6-under-par after Day 1, was a small case of the nerves. Her opening drive finding the water to the left of the first fairway and led to an eventual double bogey.

“Of course, it’s always tough to sleep on the lead,” Rydqvist said of her nerves. “You are nervous from the start and you make a six on the first hole and it’s doubly hard. But you just have to stay resilient and bounce back, and I think I did that pretty well. You just have to say in your process and think every shot is another moment and what happened in the past can’t affect what is happening right now. And you keep going from there.” 

Rydqvist was not alone in her early travails, as three other players starting the day at five under came back to the field. By the time Lottie Woad from FSU (two under) and Briana Chacon from Oregon (one under) had finished her fourth hole, there were nine players tied at 4-under-par--and it was game on.

For her efforts, Rydqvist righted the ship on the second hole (an uphill par 5) with a birdie and grabbed back her one-stroke lead. She followed that up with a long 30-foot birdie putt on number three to extend her lead to two. Rydqvist held a share of the lead or had it outright until she missed a birdie putt on the final hole to shoot even for the day and finish the day one stroke behind Rhodes and her USC Gamecock teammate Lamoure.

Rhodes, who started the day at 4-under-par, put together an efficient bogey-free round that included three birdies to grab a share of the Day-2 lead.

“I just hit a lot of fairways and greens, and when I finally made a mistake and missed a green I got it up and down,” Rhodes said of her round. “I think I only missed a total of four greens today and got all of them up and down. I also holed some nice birdie putts—I only had three birdies today but no bogeys, so I am happy with that.”
For Rhodes, who’s two-day total included seven birdies in day one, hadn’t been hitting it well coming into the event and some work last week helped her turn things around. There was more work ahead after her second round.

“Last week I wasn’t hitting it great, so I have been grinding the whole week last week,” Rhodes said. “Then I had a session with my coach the day before the tournament and fixed a few things in my swing. I am obviously not hitting it as great as I could be, so it’s giving me a lot of confidence that I can shoot this kind of score while not hitting it that great. I am going to go the range and work on it again and then tomorrow I will be out and ready.”

Lamoure, too, had a relatively quiet round (after seven birdies and two bogeys in round one), posting just three birdies and one bogey in Day 2. She bogeyed the first hole, and then birdied the ninth, 10th and 18th holes, bookending seven pars inbetween each nine.

The best round of the day belonged to Farah O’Keefe from the University of Texas, who started the morning round at 1-under-par and then threw up five birdies on the back nine (her front nine) to share the lead for a time. She would birdie six (her 15th hole) to get to 7-under-par but followed it up with bogey on the next hole and finished T-3 at 6-under-par. (She is joined there by Rydqvist, Woad, Phoebe Brinker from Duke and Kiara Romero from the University of Oregon.)

It was an interesting round because I did not expect to go five under on the front,” O’Keefe said. “And the back was also interesting because I gave myself lots and lots of good birdie opportunities but none of them fell to the bottom of the cup. I think it got a little windier on the back and that kind of affected things a little bit—especially on seven, a downhill par three straight into the wind.”

In the final analysis, with seven golfers within two shots of the leaders, there should more birdies and player movement before the final putt is dropped.

“I don’t think I am going to think about it too much and put pressure on myself,” Rhodes said of sleeping on a tie for the lead. “I am just going to go out there and enjoy and pretend that It’s just another day on the golf course and not put too much pressure on myself. I am excited; I didn’t think I would be in this position. But I am happy about it.”

Rhodes is a member of the Wake Forest team, which is the defending champion of the event, so she also has that title to play for on Wednesday. After two rounds in the books, South Carolina (-21), with the stellar play of Lamoure and Rydqvist, holds a three-shot lead over the Demon Deacons at -18, with Oregon seven shots back at -14. And Rhodes is not ready to give up the title just yet:

“It’s definitely exciting,” she said of the competition. “We’ve lost quite a few key players from last year, but we seem to be doing okay this year, only three shots back of the lead. So, we’ll get some good rounds in tomorrow and hopefully get the lead back.”

It should be a great finish.

6,395 YARDS, PAR 72

T1. Mimi Rhodes, Wake Forest 68-69--137
T1. Maylis Lamoure, South Carolina 67-70--137
T3. Farah O'Keefe, Texas 71-67--138
T3. Phoebe Brinker, Duke 70-68--138
T3. Lottie Woad, Florida State 70-68--138
T3. Kiara Romero, Oregon 67-71--138
T3. Louise Rydqvist, South Carolina 66-72--138
T8. Briana Chacon, Oregon 69-70--139
T8. Brooke Rivers, Wake Forest 68-71--139
T10. Darae Chung, San Jose State 71-69--140
T10. Hannah Darling, South Carolina 71-69--140
T10. Zoe Slaughter, Texas A&M 70-70--140

1. South Carolina 273-282--555
2. Wake Forest 277-281--258
3. Oregon 280-282--562
4. San Jose State 277-289--566
T5. Texas 288-280--568
T5. Texas A&M 283-285--568
7. Florida State 287-283--570
8. Duke 291-282--573
9. Virginia 287-288--575
10. Mississippi State 292-286--578
11. Baylor 286-300--586
12. Minnesota 290-301--591

For full tournament results, visit: https://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=player&tid=28146

Joseph Oberle

Joe Oberle is an award-winning author, sportswriter, and has been the managing editor of Minnesota Golfer magazine since 2002. He’s covered the Minnesota Vikings, the NFL, Minnesota Twins and spent six seasons as publications manager for the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he co-authored “Unstoppable: The Story of George Mikan.”

Contact Us

Contact Us

6550 York Avenue South, Suite 411 • Edina, MN 55435 • (952) 927-4643 • (800) 642-4405 • Fax: (952) 927-9642
© 2023 Minnesota Golf Association. All Rights Reserved