April 13, 2003
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.
The No. 10 University of Tennessee Lady Vol golf squad captured its third title of the season, the most in a campaign in program history, with a one-shot victory over home-standing Purdue in the Lady Boilermaker Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind.
"We feel great about the record." Head Coach Judi Pavon said. "This was an important tournament for us. We feel great about three victories, but we'd like to get three more this season."
The Big Orange hammered out a three-day 904 (298-307-299) to outlast a final-day charge by the Boilermakers, who carded a final-round 297 to pull to within one shot of UT. The conquest also moved the Orange and White into the 100 head-to-head win plateau as Tennessee is now 104-27-1 (.788) this season.
"We knew that Purdue had an advantage going into today's round." Pavon said. "The wind was blowing in the opposite direction today and they had played really well in the second round. We knew we had to play well today to win. With a couple holes left, we knew we were down and we made up several shots by hanging in there and making good putts. Tai [Perry] and Violeta [Retamoza] made great pars and Jessica [Shepley] made a 25-foot birdie putt on 18 and that ended up being the difference."
Individually, Jessica Shepley (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) took third-place with a 222 (72-76-74) and extended her Top-15 streak to nine tournaments. The sophomore could not hold off South Carolina's two-time reigning Southeastern Conference champion Kristy McPherson's 218 (70-78-70) that captured the Gamecock a medal as an individual.
"Jessica continues to play week-in and week-out." Pavon said. "She has not
let up. I am really proud of her. One of these days, she is going to get
her win. She was disappointed individually, but she fought hard for the
team and that made a big difference."
As for the rest of the Big Orange, junior Tai Perry (Unionville, Pa.) carded a 224 (73-77-74) to tie for a career-high fifth-place at the Lady Boilermaker. Perry's previous best was a seventh-place closing at the Lady Gator this season.
"Tai has become a different person over the past three tournaments." Pavon said. "She is a new woman. She has worked very hard. She hasn't been in danger of having a bad round. She makes good shots. She is proud of herself and we are all really proud of her."
Freshman Violeta Retamoza (Aguascalientes, Mexico) stayed to form as she made a final-round run at the title as she moved up to seventh-place with a 225 (76-76-73), up from Saturday's 11th-place tie, while fellow classmate Golda Johansson (Lund, Sweden) tied for 30th-place with a 235 (77-78-80). Junior Mary Jan Fernandez (Henderson, Nev.) was the keystone to the Lady Vol victory with a final day 78. Without the third-round score, the Big Orange would have counted Johansson's 80 and fell to second place. Overall, Fernandez tied for 42nd-place with a 240 (83-79-78)
The Lady Vols travel to Lexington, Ky., over April 18-20, to challenge for the SEC Championship title. The Orange and White look to improve upon last season's third-place finish in the league tournament.
|Lady Boilermaker Invitational|
At Kampen Course (West Lafayette, Ind.)
|7||North Carolina State||313-315-310=938|
|Top Scorer (field=79):|
|1.||Kristy McPherson, USC*||70-78-70=218|
|T42||Mary Jan Fernandez||83-79-78=240|
|* - playing as an individual|