Cernousek Leads NCAA Women's Tourney by 6; A&M Is 1 Ahead of Stanford

May 20, 2024 | 6 min.
By Michael R Fermoyle

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- The wind was up on Sunday, and so were the scores at La Costa Champions Course in the NCAA Women's Division I Championships. But Texas A&M's Adela Cernousek didn't seem to notice. The junior from Antibes, France, shot 4-under-par 68 for the third consecutive day and her 54-hole total of 204 leads the individual competition by six strokes over Florida State sophomore Lottie Woad. Woad, who won the prestigious Augusta National Women's Amateur a little more than a month ago, was one of six players currently in the top 10 at La Costa who shot 71 on Sunday.

Maria Jose Marin of Arkansas was also one of the six, and she's in third place, one behind Woad at 211.   

There were lots of rounds in the 60s Friday and Saturday (Woad opened with a 65), but on Sunday, Cernousek's was the only score in the 60s, and there were only two 70s, by Carla Tejedo Mulet of LSU and Paula Martin Sampedro of Stanford. They both ended the day as part of a six-way tie for fourth at 212. 

It appeared that Cernousek might lap the field when she made her fifth birdie of the front nine at the 364-yard, par-4 ninth, and then birdied the 521-yard, par-5 10th. Bogeys at the par-4 11th and par-3 12th slowed her momentum, and she parred her way into the clubhouse from there. 

Thanks in no small part to Cernousek, A&M leads the team standings. The Aggies had to count two 75s (four scores count toward the team total each round), after not counting anything over 73 in the first two rounds, but they still managed to come in at 1-over-par 289, and that was the third-best aggregate of the day. But Stanford cut their lead by four with a third straight 285. A&M is at 854 (10 under), and Stanford at 855. LSU is third, another eight back at 863, and Clemson is fourth at 866.

LSU's position in the team standings is a little bit surprising, considering that the Tigers' Ingrid Lindblad, a grad student who is ranked No. 1 in the country, is tied for 101st so far with a three-day tab of 229 (73-81-75). 

Sunday was cut day. The top 15 teams made it to Monday's final round, and among the casualties was South Carolina, the No. 3 team in the rankings, but the Gamecocks didn't come all that close to advancing. They missed by 15 shots with a 904 and ended up in 23rd place. 

There were nine individuals not on advancing teams that also made the cut. That took a score of 220 or better, and Minnesota's Bella McCauley was one of the casualties. Her 75 on Sunday put her at 227 for the three days. 

At the end of Monday's fourth round of stroke play, an individual champion will be crowned, but the teams won't be done. The top eight will go into the match-play quarterfinals Tuesday morning, and the team champion will be determined Wednesday.

Once you've played 72 holes, you've pretty much figured out which team is the best. But match play provides more drama than medal play. The Golf Channel likes that, and The Golf Channel televises the last three days of the NCAA tournament. So the team champ will be determined by match play.

NCAA Women's Championships

At La Costa Champions Course

Par 72, 6,297 yards

Carlsbad, Calif.

Third-round  results (the top15 teams made the 54-hole cut, plus the top 9 individuals not on teams that made the cut) 

1. Adela Cernousek, Texas A&M         68-68-68--204 (-12)

2. Lotte Woad, Florida State                  65-74-71--210 

3. Maria Jose Marin, Arkansas              72-68-71--211

T4. Kiara Romero, Oregon                    75-66-71--212

T4. Carla Tejedo Mulet, LSU                 71-71-70--212

T4. Aine Donegan, LSU                        74-67-71--212
T4. Ashley Yun, Northwestern              71-70-71--212

T4. C. Fernandez Garcia, Texas A&M  68-73-71--212 

T4. Paula Martin Sampedro, Stanford  70-72-70--212

T10. Julia Lopez Ramirez, Miss. St.     71-69-73--213

T10. Annabelle Pancake, Clemson      69-69-75--213

T12. Megha Ganne, Stanford               72-70-72--214

Made cut as individuals

T21. Grace Kilcrease, Tulsa                  76-71-71--218

T21. Rebecca Gyllner, San Jose St.      71-74-73--218

T27. Louisa Carlborn, San Jose State   68-78-73--219

T27. Leila Raines, Michigan State         71-73-75--219

T34. Katie Lu, Michigan State               73-75-72--220

T34. Patience Rhodes, Arizona State   73-74-73--220

T34. BaiMai Seema, Baylor                   74-70-76--220

T34. Kayla Smith, North Carolina          71-72-77--220

T34. Ashley Menne, Arizona State        70-72-78--220

Did not make cut

T86. Bella McCauley, Minnesota         74-78-75--227   

Teams (the top eight teams at the end of 72 holes of stroke play will go to the quarterfinals of match play.)

1. Texas A&M                      281-284-289--854 (-10)

2. Stanford                          285-285-285--855

3. LSU                                289-286-288--863

4. Clemson                         280-293-293--866

5. Northwestern                 285-293-295--873

6. UCLA                              291-283-300--874

T7. Oregon                         294-283-299--876

T7. Auburn                         285-290-301--876

9. Arkansas                        288-290-299--877

10. Southern Cal               299-283-296--878

11 . Duke                           286-293-304--883

12. Wake Forest                295-292-297--884

13. Mississippi State         287-297-301--885

14. Texas                          299-286-302--887

15. Florida State               287-302-3--889



Michael R Fermoyle

Mike Fermoyle’s amateur golf career features state titles in five different decades, beginning with the State Public Links (1969), three State Amateurs (1970, 1973 and 1980), and four State Four-Ball championships (1972, 1985, 1993 and 2001). Fermoyle was medalist at the Pine to Palm in 1971, won the Resorters in 1972, made the cut at the State Amateur 18 consecutive years (1969 to 1986), the last being 2000, and amassed 13 top-ten finishes. Fermoyle also made it to the semi-final matches at the MGA’s annual match play championship, the Players’, in 1982 and 1987.

Fermoyle enjoyed a career as a sportswriter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch before retiring in 2006. Two years later he began a second career covering the golf beat exclusively for the MGA and its website,, where he ranks individual prep golfers and teams, provides coverage on local amateur and professional tournaments and keeps tabs on how Minnesotans are faring on the various professional tours.

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