March 9, 2009
SORRENTO, Fla. -- Senior Nicole Smith continued her hot streak, carding a 2-under 70, during the second round of play on Monday at the UCF Challenge.
Smith will head into Tuesday's final round at the RedTail Golf Club in second-place with a two-day total of 68-70=138 (-6). Her score is tied for the lowest 36-hole score in UT history. Violeta Retamoza also carded 138 through two days at the 2005 Arizona Wildcat.
"Nicole (Smith) continues to play very well," Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon said. "She finished with two bogeys so she wasn't happy about that, but overall her play has been great."
Florida's Jessica Yadloczky will take a two-shot lead (66+70=136) in the battle for tournament medalist honors heading into the final round.
On the team leader board, Tennessee dropped from tied for fifth to tied for ninth after carding a 298 (+10) for the second round. With a two-day total of 290-298=588 (+12), the Lady Vols are tied with No. 16 Pepperdine, No. 10 Duke, No. 9 LSU and Texas.
No. 2 Arizona State leads the tournament with a total score of 568 (-8). No. 1 UCLA (569) is just one stroke behind the Sun Devils in second-place, while No. 5 Oklahoma State (575), No. 4 USC (577) and No. 7 Auburn (584) round out the top five.
Freshman Nathalie Mansson carded a 78, her second-highest round of the season, and is tied for 43rd with a two-day total of 70-78=148 (+4).
Junior Ginny Brown also scored a 76 on Monday, and is tied for 69th with a total of 77-76=153 (+9).
Smith notched an eagle on the second hole to set the tone for the rest of her round. She added two more birdies on the front nine and was 4-under at the turn. The Riverside, Calif., native briefly held sole position of the individual lead but finished 2-over on the back nine.
The par-4 No. 18 was especially tough for UT as each Lady Vol fired at least a bogey on their last hole of the round.
"The team played solid today, but we really needed another good round to go with Nicole's," Pavon said. "We played No. 18 poorly and it really hurt us. We're ready to go out and play better tomorrow."
Tennessee will look to move back up the leader board as the tournament wraps up Tuesday beginning at 8:30 a.m.