BATON ROUGE, La. (July 25, 2012) -- Austin Ernst, the 2011 NCAA champion and a two-time All-American at LSU, is leaving school, coach Karen Bahnsen announced Tuesday.
Ernst, who won the national championship as a freshman, helped LSU to third-place team finishes in the 2011 and 2012 NCAA tournaments, the Tigers' best-ever results. Ernst, of Seneca, S.C., was a first-team All-American as a freshman and Golfweek chose her as second-team All-American in 2012. She also was a member of the 2012 Curtis Cup team. She was a semifinalist in the 2011 U.S. Women's Amateur and last week won the 2012 North & South Amateur.
Ernst told Bahnsen after the NCAA Championships that her intentions were to move back home to South Carolina and participate in LPGA Qualifying School as an amateur this fall.
"Austin and our team accomplished a lot the last two years," Bahnsen said. "Although we are very disappointed Austin will no longer be playing at LSU, we wish her all the best of luck."
Ernst averaged a team-best 73.4 strokes per round this past year. In 59 career rounds, she averaged 73.3 to rank second in LSU history. She had three career victories among nine top-10 finishes, with 28 rounds of par or better.