April 22, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Junior Erica Popson fired a three-over 75 to lead the 13th-ranked Tennessee women's golf team during the final round of competition at the Southeastern Conference Championship Sunday.
The Lady Vols finished 11th in a competitive field that featured eight teams in the GolfStat top 25 rankings. The conference championship event, hosted by the University of Arkansas was held at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Big Orange totaled 320-309-322=951 (+87) over three days at the tournament.
"This was a huge disappointment," head coach Judi Pavon said. "We are a better team than we showed and we need to learn to handle pressure better. We dug ourselves a deep hole the first day and there was really no way to build the confidence to ourselves out dig out.
"Now we will have two hard weeks of practice to get prepared for regionals."
Auburn took the team title with a 52-over 916 total while the Tigers' Patricia Sanz took the conference's individual title.
Popson led UT at the event, tying for 21st with a tally of 233 tally. The Davenport, Fla., native recorded seven birdies on the weekend, including two in the tournament's final two holes.
Junior Sara Monberg turned in Tennessee's second-best performance of the weekend, tying for 23rd with a 76-76-82=234 mark. The Juelsminde, Denmark, product was seven over through 16 holes, but recorded double bogey, bogey in the last two holes to finish +10 on the day.
Senior Nathalie Mansson finished the conference tournament with a 239 total after a 12-over 84 score in Sunday's final round. Her three-day result earned a tie for 34th position.
Rounding out scores for the Orange and White, sophomore Kaitlyn Rohrback tied for 48th with a 247 (+31), while freshman AJ Newell carded a 251 (+35) mark in her first Southeastern Conference Championship appearance, earning 55th placement.
Tennessee now awaits NCAA selection, which will take place April 30. The 2012 NCAA Regional hosts are Penn State University, The Ohio State University and the University of Colorado.