May 8, 2009
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Tennessee women's golf team charged up the leaderboard and into a tie for third place on Friday during round two of the NCAA East Regional.
Despite being one stroke off of their round one score, the Lady Vols' day two total of 293 (+13) was the fourth-best score of the day and moved the Orange and White up four places.
UT's total score of 585 (+25) puts it in a tie with Southeastern Conference rival Vanderbilt, and is just two strokes away from second-place Denver (583). Alabama is in first-place at 575 (+15).
The top eight finishers in the 21-team field advance to the NCAA Championships in Owings Mills, Md., from May 19-22, and UT is nine strokes ahead of ninth-place North Carolina (594).
The Lady Vols will start the final round from the first tee in the first group with Auburn and Denver at 7:40 a.m. on Saturday.
"Today was such a crucial day," Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon said. "Being the middle round, the pressure of the day is so great. I knew if we made some pars at the end we would be in good shape, and we did. We are not very far out of first. Our goal is to win."
Freshman Nathalie Mansson is tied for second with a total score of 141 (+1) with Vanderbilt's Marina Alex and Auburn's Candace Schepperle. Alabama's Camilla Lennarth has the individual lead at 139 (-1).
Mansson followed her round one of score of 1-under 69 with a 2-over 72 on the par-70, 6,023-yard, University of Florida Mark Bostick Golf Course.
She has a shot at being the third Lady Vol to ever earn medalist honors at the NCAA East Regional, joining Marci Turner (2006) and Malin Tveit (1997).
Sophomore Lauren Spurlock bettered her day one score by two strokes and rebounded from a 4-over back nine to finish the front nine 1-under-par. Her score of 73 tied junior Ginny Brown for second-best on the Lady Vols on Friday.
"She was really clutch for us today," Pavon said. "We are one of the few teams that has five players who can score every time out. She was determined to hit good shots and didn't make many mistakes."
Spurlock made bogies on holes 17 and 18, but quickly regrouped by making birdies on holes one and three after the turn. Her total score of 148 (+8) puts her in a tie for 36th.
"Turning four-over is not fun, but coming back and playing the front nine well was great," Spurlock said. "I just grinded it out. My goal has been to have fun each day."
Junior Diana Cantú was also two shots better than her day one score. She was 6-over heading with three holes to play, but had a strong finish - playing 1-under her final three holes of the day. She carded a 75 and her 152 (+12) total puts her in a tie for 59th.
Brown continued their steady play. She carded her second straight 73 and is tied for 19th-place with a 146 (+6) total. She also ended the second round on a good note, sinking a 12-footer for birdie.
Senior Nicole Smith was UT's fifth player, carding a 77. She is tied with Cantú in 59-th place with a total score of 152 (+12).
Live results of Saturday's final round can be found at www.golfstat.com.
|Lady Vol Placements|
|T2.||Nathalie Mansson||69-72=141 (+1)|
|T19.||Ginny Brown||73-73=146 (+6)|
|T36.||Lauren Spurlock||75-73=148 (+8)|
|T59.||Diana Cantú||77-75=152 (+12)|
|T59.||Nicole Smith||75-77=152 (+12)|
|9.||North Carolina||291-303=594 (+34)|
|11.||East Carolina||283-313=596 (+36)|
|T12.||South Carolina||308-290=598 (+38)|
|T12.||Coastal Carolina||301-297=598 (+38)|
|16.||Florida State||307-297=604 (+44)|
|21.||Jackson State||324-336=660 (+100)|