May 19, 2009
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Junior Ginny Brown carded an even-par 72 to lead the Tennessee women's golf team on day one of the 2009 NCAA Women's Golf Championships on Tuesday at Caves Valley Golf Club.
Brown is tied for third individually and the Lady Vols are tied for 12th among 24 teams with a round one total of 307 (+19) at the par-72, 6,443-yard course just north of Baltimore.
East Regional champion Denver continued its momentum from Gainesville, firing a first-day 294 (+6) and leads by two shots over UCLA heading into the second round. North Carolina is third at 299 (+11). Denver's Stephanie Sherlock and UNC's Catherine O'Donnell are tied for the individual lead after firing 2-under-par 70s for round one.
The Lady Vols begin the second round from the first tee at 8 a.m. with Wake Forest (303) and LSU (302).
"We had an OK round," Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon said. "The first day is always tough to get under your belt. We didn't know what to expect from the golf course and this is a really difficult course. We had a pretty good round going, and one of our strengths this spring has been finishing well - and we actually finished poorly today."
UT was eight-over for its final three holes of the day, Nos. 7 through 9, but will still begin day two in the top half of the national championship field.
Brown rattled off back-to-back birdies on holes 13 and 14 to move to 2-under early on Tuesday. The Austin, Texas, native was even at the turn, and added two more birdies and a pair of bogeys on the front to remain even. For Brown, it was her fourth round of par or better on the season.
In her last seven rounds, she hasn't shot above a 74.
"I was really nervous at first, but I made it through," Brown said. "I really tried to focus on where I was hitting and trying to hit it in the fairway. I had two birdies in a row on the back nine and they both were solid putts. This is a tough course. To play well you have to make good saves when you do get in trouble."
Smith fired a 4-over 76 and is tied for 38th, while Cantú posted a 6-over 78 and is tied for 60th. Each made one birdie.
Freshman Nathalie Mansson and Lauren Spurlock had rough rounds on day one of their first national championship tournament. Mansson shot a 9-over 81 and is tied for 101st. Spurlock carded a 12-over 84 and is tied for 118th.
"If we can get Lauren and Nathalie ready for tomorrow, then I think we'll be able to have a good day," Pavon said. "Ginny played fantastic and Diana really fought and hung in there as did Nicole today."
In eight NCAA Championships appearances, the Lady Vols have finished in the top-10 three times. After a strong day one effort that finds itself in the top dozen, adding a fourth top-10 at the NCAA Championships is within reach for UT at the challenging Maryland course which yielded a round one average score of 77.92 on Tuesday.
"Tomorrow, I'm just going to try to get the ball in the fairway and hit some good shots," Brown said. "I'm not worrying about my score because it's hard to tell what a good score is going to be on this course."
Results from each day will be posted live at www.utladyvols.com. Additionally, holes 16, 17 and 18 will be webcast live on Thursday and Friday on the women's golf page at ncaa.com.
|Lady Vol Placements|
|T3. Ginny Brown||72 (E)|
|T38. Nicole Smith||76 (+4)|
|T60. Diana Cantú||78 (+6)|
|T101. Nathalie Mansson||81 (+9)|
|T118. Lauren Spurlock||84 (+12)|