April 15, 2005
TUNICA, Miss.--The No. 8 Lady Volunteer Golf team is in second place after round one of the Southeastern Conference Women's Golf Championships concluded on Friday afternoon. Leading the way for the Big Orange was senior Jessica Shepley who played with great poise en route to a one-under-par 71 to sit in second. No. 7 Auburn leads the event with a three-over par score of 291, eight in front of UT's team total of 299. The score ties as the fourth lowest in Big Orange history on day one of the championships.
"It's a good spot for us," said Head Coach Judi Pavon. "We have some ground to make up and need to play a little bit better golf out there. We need to make some better decisions out there. We had two great scores and then our three and four scores weren't quite what we were looking for. We'll try to get everybody straightened out this afternoon so all five of them can come out with a little bit better round tomorrow.
"Jessica played great today," said Pavon. "She's been striking the ball really well and for her not to have any bogeys out here is pretty good. Violeta (Retamoza) had a really solid round, coming through with a good score for the team again."
Tennessee was tied for sixth place after a challenging front nine at seven-over-par, trailing Auburn (-1), No. 2 Georgia (even par), Alabama, No. 23 Arkansas and No. 14 Florida (+4). The Orange and White would prove its mental toughness, however, as they tracked down all but Auburn with a solid four-over-par effort down the stretch to take command of second.
Shepley's marker ties as the third lowest in program history on day one of the league event. The captain played extremely well the entire round, with one birdie and 17 pars. Starting on the first hole, she made the turn with a score of 35 on the strength of eight pars and one birdie. On the back nine, Shepley ran off nine straight pars to conclude the round.
"I just really kept good play off the tee," said Shepley. "I didn't really try to force anything. I was trying to play for the middle of the greens. I am just going to try to hit fairways and greens the next two days because the bunkers are tough out here."
Violeta Retamoza (Aguascalientes, Mexico), the top-ranked golfer in the conference, ended day one of the championships at even-par 72 to place her in a stalemate for third place. The junior started off with nine consecutive pars for a tally of 36 at the halfway point of her day. The preseason All-American birdied the par-four 10th and par-three 11th to go to two-under, before falling back with bogeys on the 12th and 15th holes to conclude the day at even par.
Freshman Marci Turner (Tompkinsville, Ky.) carded a 77 to sit tied for 25th at five-over par. The 2003 Kentucky state champion's score ties as the fourth-best total by a freshman in school history for the opening round of the SECs.
Golda Johansson (Lund, Sweden) finished the day with a total of 79 and is deadlocked at 35th. The junior battled through a difficult front nine to make the turn with a score of five-over par 41. Johansson would rebound, though, as she played the final nine holes at two-over par 38. Her total is the second lowest of her collegiate career while competing at the conference championships.
Sarah Bonner-Shanks (Kingsport, Tenn.) entered the clubhouse with a score of 85. Participating in her first SEC Championships, the senior was at 43 through nine holes before finishing the back nine with a 42.
Round two of the tournament begins at 8:30 a.m. CST with the Lady Vols set to tee off at 9:20 a.m.
|Top Five Individuals|
|1.||Nicole Hage, Auburn||69|
|2.||Jessica Shepley, Tennessee||71|
|T3.||Violeta Retamoza, Tennessee||72|
|T3.||Stacey Lewis, Arkansas||72|
|T3.||Whitney Myers, Florida||72|
|T3.||Carina Sorensen, Alabama||72|