April 16, 2010
By Zach Stipe, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Despite solid scores from sophomore Nathalie Mansson and freshman Erica Popson, the No. 14/16-ranked Tennessee women's golf team got off to a slow start on day one of the 2010 SEC Women's Golf Championship.
The Lady Vols are tied with No. 19 Florida for ninth after registering a 14-over 298 team total at the par-71 6,057-.yard NorthRiver Yacht Club course. UT and UF are 18 strokes back of co-leaders No. 15 Georgia (-4) and Arkansas (-4) in the 12-team field.
Mansson fired a 1-over 72 and is tied for 20th, while Popson notched a 2-over 73 to tie for 29th in her conference tournament debut. The rest of the lineup finished the day toward the bottom of the leaderboard, though.
"We went out today expecting to play well," Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon said. "We got off to a decent start, but we kept making some of the same mistakes over and over again, and it really cost us. The course was very fair today and it was set up for scoring. You can't afford to make mistakes out there when the course is set up for low scores."
Mansson, the reigning SEC Women's Golfer of the Week and Tennessee's stroke average leader (72.96), notched an round-one-best 15 pars, two birdies and just one bogey to open the conference tournament. She tied for 13th at the event a year ago.
Popson was stellar in her SEC Championship-debut, scorching the front nine with two birdies and seven pars. She added a birdie on Hole 10, but had two bogeys and a double in a four-hole stretch on the backside. Still, the Davenport, Fla., native is in great position in just her third full tournament of the spring since returning from a wrist injury.
Cantú was 4-over at the turn, but played even-par golf the rest of the afternoon. Monberg was steady in her first conference championship, nabbing 13 pars, but was hurt by a triple-bogey on the 13th hole.
South Carolina senior Benedicte Toumpsin holds the medalist lead after one round, as she carded a 3-under 68.
Tennessee will start day two from the 10th hole at 9:30 a.m. ET in a group with Kentucky and Mississippi State.
|LADY VOL SCORES|
|t20.||Nathalie Mansson||72 (+1)|
|t29.||Erica Popson||73 (+2)|
|t39.||Diana Cantú||75 (+4)|
|t50.||Sara Monberg||78 (+7)|
|60.||Ginny Brown||88 (+17)|