Junior Nathalie Mansson
May 19, 2011
By Zach Stipe, Media Relations Assistant
BRYAN, Texas - A strong finish, featuring four birdies on No. 8, propelled the No. 9-ranked Tennessee Lady Vol golf team to a second-consecutive 11-over-par 299 team score and a tied-for-eighth placement during round two of the 2011 NCAA Women's Golf Championships on Thursday at the Traditions Club.
The Lady Vols have a 299-299=598 (+22) 36-hole total and are in a three-way tie for eighth with No. 12 California and No. 15 North Carolina.
UT will tee off from No. 10 at 1:25 p.m. CT on Friday in a group with No. 25 Florida (592) and California. NCAA.com will provide live results, while @LadyVol_Golf will have updates on Twitter.
Teeing off from No. 10 Thursday morning for round two, Tennessee struggled early on, battling constant wind gusts.
The Big Orange's team score rose to as high as 15-over-par with a few holes remaining, but four straight birdies on the second-to-last hole of the day - the 483-yard, par-5 No. 8 - salvaged the round.
"That really helped us out," Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon said. "Between No. 8 and No. 9 we played 4-under-par. Those were holes we couldn't afford to lose any more shots on. To have all four of the players birdie No. 8 and then par No. 9 really helped save our round.
"We didn't get off to a very good start today, but brought it back at the end. We were hoping for a much better day, but we hung in there."
Judi Pavon Interview
Sophomore Erica Popson started the birdie run on No. 8 with a 12-foot birdie putt before freshman Kaitlyn Rohrback put her approach right near the pin for a short putt. Junior Nathalie Mansson drilled a 30-footer and sophomore Sara Monberg capped stretch with a short putt.
Popson, who entered the national tournament with four straight first-place finishes - including wins at the NCAA West Regional and SEC Championship, bounced back from an opening round 76 to fire a 1-over 73. The nation's leader in par-5 scoring tallied a "4" on a pair of par-5s. She is tied for 30th.
"I played a little better today, but still not as well as I wanted to," Popson said. "I made less mistakes, but I still made some mistakes. I just need to eliminate them, get tougher and start making more birdies. We still have two days left, hopefully we can move up."
Mansson and Monberg each carded 2-over 74s on the par-72, 6,260-yard course.
Mansson, who is tied for 30th with a 75-74=149 total, made three birdies and shook off a double-bogey on No. 1 to play 1-under-par golf for the final eight holes. Monberg was even on the back nine, but made back-to-back bogeys and a double-bogey in succession just after the turn. However, the Juelsminde, Denmark native made two birdies over her final six holes to finish with a solid score. She holds UT's lowest total with a 73-74=147 (+3) two-day mark and is tied for 24th.
Rounding out the Lady Vol performers were Rohrback (78) and classmate Chessey Thomas (81). The pair struggled early on, but played steady over the final holes on the front nine. Rohrback is tied for 70th, while Thomas is in a deadlock at 109th.
N. 2 UCLA sits atop the leader board at 8-over 584 with No. 4 Purdue (587) and No. 7 LSU (588) in second and third, respectively.
LSU freshman Austin Ernst fired a 6-under 66 to take a three-shot lead in the individual medalist race with a 138 (-6) two-day score. She played in a group with Mansson on Thursday.
|LADY VOL SCORES|
|t24.||Sara Monberg||73-74=147 (+3)|
|t30.||Erica Popson||76-73=149 (+5)|
|t30.||Nathalie Mansson||75-74=149 (+5)|
|t70.||Kaitlyn Rohrback||75-78=152 (+8)|
|t109.||Chessey Thomas||80-81=161 (+17)|