March 1, 2010
By Zach Stipe, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
VALDOSTA, Ga. -- The 14th-ranked Tennessee women's golf team will be in striking distance of its third team title of the 2009-10 season when the final day of the Kinderlou Forest Challenge begins on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.
The Lady Vols fired a 7-over 299 for the first round at the 6,265-yard, par-73 Kinderlou Forest Golf Club course on Monday, and were just 1-over for the second round on the same day with only a handful of holes left when play was halted because of darkness.
UT (+8) is just five strokes behind leader Tulane (+3), and will have sole possession of second-place when teams tee off to complete round two Tuesday morning. Round three is also scheduled for later in the day.
Ohio State (+10), No. 20 LSU (+12) and No. 16 Florida (+13) hold the third, fourth and fifth positions on the leaderboard, respectively.
"We played a lot better today," Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon said. "It was a really nice day and as we went on everyone found their stride and started to play really well. We are in great shape for tomorrow and are excited to get back on the course."
After capping the fall with back-to-back tournament victories, the Lady Vols stumbled to an 11th-place finish at their spring-opener, the Wildcat Invitational, from Feb. 22-23, in Tuscon, Ariz.
Pavon, and the Big Orange, proved that last week's struggles in Arizona would not be the trend this spring, however, as four Lady Vols rank in the top-24 heading into the final day at the Challenge.
Senior Diana Cantú was her steady self to lead Tennessee on Monday. The Monterrey, Mexico, native carded just one bogey during the first round to record an even-par 73, and is just 1-over with four holes left to play in the second round. At tied for eighth (+1), she is close to snagging her third top-10 finish of the season.
Rounding out the scorers for the Lady Vols were freshman Sara Monberg and sophomore Nathalie Mansson, as both are tied for 17th at 3-over, and junior Lauren Spurlock, who is tied for 24th (+4). Senior Ginny Brown is tied for 70th (+13).
"Diana is playing really solid golf as are Lauren and Sara," Pavon said. "In round two, Nathalie and Ginny got back to their old selves, as well."
Mansson fired a 5-over 78 round one, but rebounded in round two. When play was halted, Golfstat's 15th-rated player had just carded two consecutive birdies. She is 2-under for the round with two holes left to play.
Brown shook off an opening round 86, and is even-par with three holes to complete before the final round.
Monberg fired her third round of par or better of the season in the first round (73), and is 3-over for the second round with two holes to play.
Spurlock collected five birdies, but also double- and triple-bogeys for a score of 75 during an inconsistent first round. She is two-over with three holes to play in the second round.
Georgia's Marta Silva, Chattanooga's Emma de Groot and Vanderbilt's Marina Alex are all at 1-under-par and tied for first heading into the final day of competition.