Every time Latanna Stone goes back to campus at LSU, it seems a little better. Next week, she’ll do the drill again – and just like a year ago, she’ll be fresh off a tournament title.
Stone keeps her golf goals on a Google Doc, like the rest of her Tiger teammates. At the top of the list? Win a college title – or two or three. She hasn’t checked that box yet, but she’s checking off other titles as she goes.
The LSU sophomore won the Orlando Women’s International Amateur on Tuesday in her first appearance in the event. Stone battled wind and intermittent rain to post a final-round 73 at Orange County National’s Panther Lakes course. Her 5-under total was good for a one-shot win over Virginia’s Haeley Wotnosky.
“I was hitting the ball really well this week,” Stone said. “A lot of my putts fell in on the first round and I was sticking everything. I was playing really solid the first round and then the second and third round, I was just skimming a lot of putts. They were barely about to go in and some tough breaks. I really can’t complain because it was playing a little tough out there.”
This time of year, Stone normally is teeing it up in the Harder Hall Women’s Invitational, a long-running women’s amateur event in Sebring, Florida with a distinguished list of winners. Stone, having competed in the event since she was just a kid, won it last year.
Having just represented the U.S. in the Arnold Palmer Cup, a co-ed Ryder Cup-style match for college players, before Christmas, Stone knew it would be too much to tee it up at the Harder Hall four days later and the Orlando event after that.
“This was kind of nice,” she said of the new event.
Stone played in all three of LSU’s SEC-only starts in the fall and finished fifth at the Blessings Intercollegiate. She has risen to No. 208 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. College golf suits her, but she still craves a title on that stage.
“I think that college golf has definitely unlocked an aggressive side to me,” she said. “Just because you’re there with your team and it really hypes you up. It’s so different from being solo, junior golf. It’s just so different.”
Stone references a competitive wedge game at LSU’s facilities that involves hitting different wedge shots to concrete “pods” or targets with her teammates. But consistency is where she really feels she has an edge.
“Being consistent is really important,” Stone said. “I feel like if you’re consistent and you don’t make a lot of mistakes, you can really outplay the people that you’re playing against too in a sense.”
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/01/05/lsu-latanna-stone-orlando-international-womens-amateur/