May 8, 2004
The theme of the day was survive and advance at the 2004 NCAA East Regional at the Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. Once again, the Tennessee Lady Vols were able to survive a slow start over the first nine hole before coming through with another amazing performance on the back nine on the El Campeon course. The 17-over 305 round gave the team a seventh-place finish with a 54-over total of 918 (307-306-305) and put Head Coach Judi Pavon's squad in the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2000.
Duke University took home the overall tournament title after shooting a three-over 291, bringing the team score to 860 for the event. UNLV took home second after posting its third consecutive round of 297, leaving the team at +27 for the weekend. North Carolina finished one shot behind the Rebels, earning third place with a score of 892.
"It is a great relief," Pavon said. "For once, we had the one piece of luck that turned everything around."
"As we started the back nine, I knew the teams ahead us had the front nine to go. I told our players that we just needed pars the rest of the way and they came through."
Violeta Retamoza (Aguascalientes, Mexico) led the way for the Lady Volunteers as they made their charge. The sophomore delivered an eagle on the par-five 10th, then scored a birdie on the par-three 12th to elevate the team back into contention. From 12 on, Retamoza hit par on each hole before scoring a five on the par-four 18th. She finished the day at an even par 72, for a combined score of 224.
"Violeta was the key to our round today," Pavon said. "Her chip in for eagle on 10 gave everyone on our team the boost they needed."
Sophomore Golda Johansson (Lund, Sweden) and junior Jessica Shepley (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) each delivered six-over rounds of 78. Johansson finished the tournament with a score of 227 (+10), while Shepley finished 23-over with a score of 239. Junior Teesha Ash (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and freshman Holly Cantwell (Morristown, Tenn.) both ended up 26-over at 242.
Retamoza said the eagle on 10 was the turning point for her round.
"I haven't been hitting the ball well all week," she said. "I went in to the hole hoping to get a birdie because I knew I had to make up some shots and 10 is a good place to do that. The (chip in) turned my whole mental game around"
Tennessee will now prepare to play in the NCAA Championships, May 18-21, in Auburn Ala. at the Auburn University Club.
NCAA East Regional
At Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort
El Campeon course, Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
|Individual Winner (field=108):|
|1.||Meaghan Francella, |