MSU Women's Golf Coach Ginger Brown-Lemm

Mississippi State Head Women's Golf Coach Ginger Brown-Lemm talks one-on-one with Gene's Page about this year's women's golf team.

You have several returning players. How about talking about each one of them, starting with junior Ally McDonald.
"She broke every existing record for a single season and for a career that is in Mississippi State's record book. I think she learned a lot about herself her second year. She learned that she was as solid as she hoped, that she could handle things, she could win, she could expect a consistent score from herself. She dedicated a lot of her time, even more time to golf than she did her freshman year. She saw all the benefits of spending a little extra time early and late (on her golf game). She reaped the benefits of her hard work."

She also won the 111th North & South Women's Amateur title a couple of weeks ago. That was a big, big tournament for her to win, wasn't it?
"The North-South Amateur has been going on for 111 years. And some of the best players in the world have played in it. She beat the NCAA national champion, Annie Park, in round 2."

What are your thoughts about senior Mary Langdon Gallagher?
"She has come a long way. She had some great golf tournaments and great rounds. She played well when we needed her to. She played extremely well at the SEC, played well at the regional competition and also had some great rounds at the nationals."

Junior Rica Tse is another returning player.
"Rica is solid, a solid golfer, a solid person, a 3.8 student. She is funny and a very hardworking player. She got a new bag of clubs (this summer). She has been home in New Zealand during the break and has shot some really, really great scores in golf tournaments there. I look for her to have a really great year."

Sophomore Gabi Oubre'.
"She is an exceptional player. She is a a very family oriented young lady so it took her a semester to get used to being away from home. But she did great academically. She also has some new clubs that she is working with. I look for her to have a great year."

Another returner is sophomore Logan Chaney.
"She is a brilliant young lady but has not played to her expectations yet. She has been working hard on that this summer."

Redshirt freshman Blaise Carabello.
"She is the hardest working young lady in collegiate athletics. She comes in early and she stays late. She actually worked herself into a hip injury because she hits so many golf balls. But she's healthy now and has played really well and even won a golf tournament this summer. She's going to be my surprise this year because she wants it and she works harder than anybody else. You'll get results when you put those two things together."

Of your newcomers, freshman Jessica Peng has great accolades.
"It becomes more and more fun as you see your program develop. I worked over a year to get her in. Her English was not that great at first. She is here now taking some classes. Jessica was ranked as high as 38th in the world amateur rankings. She actually played as an amateur in a couple of tour events in the Asian countries and was the low (scoring) amateur in both of them with right around a par score."

Is she on the par, talent-wise, as Ally McDonald?
"She absolutely is. That's what Ally wants on the team, exceptional players. And that's what I want too, because you have to have exceptional depth to be able to compete for championships in the SEC. My goals for this program is to win an SEC championship and a national championship. And the only way to do that is to continue to recruit players like Ally (McDonald), Jessica Peng and Mary Langdon Gallagher and other kids who perform like those girls."

And having girls as talented as those, it makes the practices as hard and maybe even harder than the season.
"That's the goal. Everything revolves around competition and pressure. And the more of that that you can put in practice, then the better you will be able to handle it in a golf tournament."

Another freshman is Ji Eun Baik.
"She and her family are from Korea. They have been in the States for about 10 years. They've lived in Georgia all that time. She just won a AJGA event which is the premier junior golf tour in the United States, with an under par round. She is an exceptional young lady, really hard working. I expect her to make the lineup this year."

Your last freshman is Izel Pieters.
"She is from South Africa. I saw her play two years ago. When I saw her play I thought she had committed elsewhere so I backed off of her. I received an email from her, saying that she hadn't committed anywhere and wanting to know if I was still interested in her. I told her yes. She is a top 10 player in South Africa. A lot of people don't pay attention to South Africa because it is so far away and she has only been to the States one time. But she is one of the players who I did a lot of work with her through email and the phone. She's never been to Mississippi State, she doesn't know what it looks like other than what she has seen on the internet. I was able to go and meet her family again in February because I can recruit there. Obviously she believes and trusts in our program."

Who will be the leaders on the team?
"Ally is more of a quiet leader. She leads with her sticks, her practice routine and her commitment to Mississippi State. That's the solid rock. Mary Langdon, another co-captain, is more of a cheerleader who is more peppy and more vocal. But both of them serve critical roles. Then you have Blaise Carabello who works circles around everybody. She was limited last year because she had worker herself into injuries."

You have a new clubhouse coming your way soon, don't you?
"We do. In November they are going to tear down the existing structure that is on the property of the Mississippi State golf course. After that is completed then construction will start on the building. There is a chance that we could be in it by late spring of next year. But there are always delays so it could be sometime during the summer before it's ready."

You have a tough schedule this year. Was that intentional?
"You have to walk a fine line between over-scheduling your squad or not making it difficult enough to keep your rankings up so you can be selected for post-season. But now we have the depth to be able to challenge our squad and perform in those events week-in and week-out. And that is exciting."

On your schedule is one event at Old Waverly, the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational. MSU fans will be able to attend that event because it is located near West Point, Mississippi.
"Absolutely. It is free and will be a 12 to 15 team field. Obviously our goal is to win it. It is the perfect venue. Old Waverly has been incredibly gracious letting us practice, play and host there."

Ok, so, as a coach, knowing what you had hoped to happen to your program has now started to happen, how happy are you? (If you have ever met Ginger you realize she is one of the most positive, happy people you will ever meet.-Gene)
"I love my job. (Assistant) Coach (Leigh) Phillips and I have worked so hard and we are so passionate about the experience that you can have as an athlete at Mississippi State. It is really the best of everything - it is a smaller town feel with people who care about you but it also has the elite competition of the SEC. You have both of them in one place. It is an experience of a lifetime. But until now I hadn't been able to market the program. But now that we have started to build and are also seeing our ranking increase we are starting to receive more and more attention. The quality of the recruits that contacts us has increased exponentially."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

Gene's Page Top Stories