April 20, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Playing a challenging course in trying conditions, the No. 13-ranked Tennessee women's golf team got off to a slow start on day one of the 2012 SEC Women's Golf Championship.
The Lady Vols are in 12th place after registering a 32-over 320 team total at the par-72 6,112-yard Blessings Golf Club course. UT is 23 strokes back of leader No. 2 Alabama (+9) in the strong field that features eight teams in the Golfstat top 25.
"This was a tough day for us all around," head coach Judi Pavon said. "The golf course is extremely difficult and it was cold and windy.
"The players were doing okay considering Erica [Popson] was having a tough day and wasn't going to count toward the team score.
"But our finish was terrible. In the last four holes we dropped 13 strokes, which ends up being the difference."
Tennessee recorded seven bogeys, two doubles and a triple bogey in the final four holes of the round.
Junior Sara Monberg led UT in round one. The Juelsminde, Denmark, native was even through 16 holes before taking double bogey on 17 and 18, finishing the day at 76 (+4). She is tied for 11th place heading into round two.
Senior Nathalie Mansson carded an 8-over 80 and is tied for 33rd. A product of Stockholm, Sweden, Mansson shot par on the first seven holes before tallying five consecutive holes over par. She did not record a birdie in the round.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Rohrback and freshman AJ Newell are tied for 47th place, turning in 10-over 82 performances. Rohrback was four over through 14 holes, but picked up six strokes on her way in to finish at +10. Newell, playing in her first conference championship, carded two birdies in round one, but fell victim to two double bogeys en route to a +10 performance.
The defending Southeastern Conference individual champion, Popson recorded Tennessee's highest round of the day, putting up an 11-over 83.
Auburn's Patricia Sanz and Georgia's Marta Silva Zamora are tied atop the individual leaderboard after one round, as they each carded a 3-under 69s.
"The good news is there are two rounds left," Pavon said. "If we can learn from today's mistakes, we can make a move up in each of the next two days."
Tennessee will start day two from the 10th hole at 8:30 a.m. CT in a group with Kentucky and Vanderbilt.
Live results can be found at golfstat.com, while twitter.com/ladyvol_golf will provide updates.