Lucas was recently granted a full release from ULM following her sophomore season and shortly thereafter, she began the task of looking for another school.
“I signed with ULM under Ashley Tonore and I had a great two years there,” said Lucas of her former college coach. “My freshman year was good and last year, I had a great year: I was sixth in the (Sun Belt) conference overall and I had five out of nine top 10 finishes. (And) I dropped three strokes off my average.”
But, a recent coaching change at ULM made Lucas reconsider her future there and when all was said and done, she decided it just wasn’t the right fit for her.
“Everything happens for a reason,” she said. “You know, God never closes a door without opening a better one.”
And that door for Lucas opened rather quickly.
First, McNeese came calling and it looked as if Lucas would finish her final two years as a Cowgirl in Lake Charles.
Mississippi State also courted Lucas, but Starksville was a bit too far from home for her.
Then came the call of all calls.
LSU’s Karen Bahnsen brought Lucas in for a visit last week and she offered Lucas a scholarship.
It was basically a wrap after that.
“I’m very excited,” said Lucas of signing with LSU. “If you live in Louisiana, you always dream of going to LSU. But it always seems so far in the distance, like it’s another world. But when I was on my visit, I knew it was within my grasp. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Obviously, the move for Lucas worked out in a big way.
Despite being the top golfer for the Lady Warhawks, Lucas, along with the team’s No. 2 player, was left off the roster for the conference tournament this year. ULM finished ninth overall as a team.
Lucas now joins a team that has placed third in the NCAA Women’s Championship for the last two years. This year, the Lady Tigers were just two strokes behind champion Alabama and one behind second-place Southern Cal .
“I never thought at this point and time that LSU would have money for me,” said Lucas, who was given nearly a full scholarship. “With them being the No. 3 team in the nation, I didn’t think they would have money for me at all.
“At the time, coach Bahnsen said they didn’t have much money to offer me, but she said my game had progressed very well and she said she thought I could help them win a national championship.
“I really went just to get the experience of visiting a SEC school. And then I went and she basically offered me a 90 percent scholarship.
“Having a chance to compete for a national championship, it’s just too good to pass up.”
And playing for coach Bahnsen, who has been at the helm of the Lady Tigers golf program for 28 years, also aided in Lucas’ decision.
“My coach at ULM (Ashley Tonore) played at LSU under Karen,” said Lucas. “Coming from Ashley to Karen, they have a lot of qualities in common. I played well for Ashley and I enjoyed playing for her and I know going to LSU playing for Karen, it will be the same way. She is great and you know what you’re getting from her. I think she’s a great person and, obviously, after 28 years, she’s built a great program at LSU.”
An added bonus is the fact that Baton Rouge is just over an hour’s drive from Crowley .
“It was just time to come home,” said Lucas. “My little sister will be a freshman at Notre Dame at I’m a real family person so I’m pretty excited about coming home.”
As a sophomore at ULM, Lucas placed in the top 10 five times and was the runnerup at the Blue Raider Invitational with a 221, her best career finish.
During her freshman season, Lucas competed in 10 events and claimed three top-20 finishes in her first four tournaments. She led ULM with a 78.48 scoring average over 29 rounds played, had the three lowest rounds of the year for the Lady Warhawks and shot in the 70s or better in 15 of her 29 rounds.
During her prep career, Lucas won the 2008 and the 2009 Division II state championships and won the High School All-Star Claissic in 2009 and 2010.
In her senior year at Notre Dame, Lucas passed on the opportunity to claim a third straight individual championship on the girls side and played with the boys team. She helped lead the Pios to the state title while finishing third individually.
Lucas, who is majoring in math education, is the daughter of Rodney and Keri Lucas of Crowley.