May 21, 2009
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- After a pair of uncharacteristic rounds on days one and two of the 2009 NCAA Women's Golf Championships, freshman Nathalie Mansson returned to form on Thursday at Caves Valley Golf Club.
Mansson fired a 1-under 71 to lead the Tennessee women's golf team during the third round of play at the par-72, 6,443-yard course. Starting at the 10th tee, UT was just 6-over at the turn but struggled over the last few holes on the front nine and finished with a team score of 306 (+18) - its best round of the tournament. Tennessee sits in 16th-place with a 307-313-306=926 (+62) total heading into the final round.
The Lady Vols will start the final day of the 2009 NCAA Women's Golf Championship from the 10th tee with Chattanooga and Arizona at 8:20 a.m. on Friday.
"The course is tough," Pavon said. "And we did not finish well again today. I know the girls are doing their best out there. We are close to a couple teams right ahead of us. Tomorrow we've just got to put it together and finish."
Mansson tallied an 81 on Tuesday and a 77 on Wednesday. Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon and junior Diana Cantú noticed the Stockholm, Sweden native was shifting her weight wrong during her swing while practicing after the second round. They helped correct the problem and Mansson got back to putting her weight behind the ball on Thursday.
On her second hole of the day, No. 11, Mansson nearly made a 15-footer for birdie, but the ball rolled out of the cup. This was a sign of things to come, though, as she continuously putted well, either leaving the ball within a few feet of the hole for easy pars or making birdies.
On the par-3 15th hole, Mansson made a 30-footer for birdie, and followed with a birdie on No. 18 and back-to-back short putts for birdie on holes No. 2 and 3.
"I played much better all around than the last two days," Mansson said. "I putted a lot better and I was driving a lot better. I still had a couple misses out there today, but it was a good overall round."
She has a 54-hole total of 229 (+13) and is tied for 41st with 18 holes remaining. Heading into the tournament, Mansson led Tennessee with a 73.45 stroke average - the third-lowest in UT history. Her day three score at NCAAs was her 10th round of par or better on the season.
"Nathalie was great today," Pavon said. "She got something figured out on the driving range yesterday. She was a little under the weather the first couple of days, but she woke up feeling a lot better this morning. She went out and played like she is capable of playing. It was a huge boost for the team. We would've been in trouble if she wouldn't have played well."
Brown had her highest round of the tournament, but managed to make an impressive 20-footer for birdie on her final hole of the day, No. 9, to salvage her score. Overall, Brown has a three-day total of 224 (+8) and is tied for 20th.
Smith had an inconsistent day with eight bogeys, a birdie and an eagle. Her eagle came on the par-5, third hole after she ripped her three-wood within a few yards short of the green and converted the chip-in.
Smith has a total score of 233 (+24) and is tied for 64th.
Cantú fired her second consecutive 81 on Thursday. She has a total score of 240 (+24) and is in 105th-place.
Sophomore Lauren Spurlock tallied an 85 for the third round and has a three-day total of 252 (+36). She is in 120th-place.
Jessica Song and USC stormed past Maria Jose Uribe and UCLA to take control of the team and individual leaderboards. Song carded a 1-under 71 to lead her Trojans to a 294 third round and an 890 (+26) total. She sits at even-par with a 216 to hold a two-shot lead over Uribe (218) and Purdue's Maria Hernandez. USC holds a one-shot lead over Arizona State (891) and three-shot lead over the Bruins (893). North Carolina (906) is in fourth-place, 13 strokes behind the Pac-10 trio.
Results from each day will be posted live at www.golfstat.com. Additionally, holes 16, 17 and 18 will be webcast live on Friday on the women's golf page at ncaa.com.
|Lady Vol Placements|
|T20.||Ginny Brown||72-75-77=224 (+8)|
|T41.||Nathalie Mansson||81-77-71=229 (+13)|
|T64.||Nicole Smith||76-80-77=233 (+17)|
|105.||Diana Cantú||78-81-81=240 (+24)|
|120.||Lauren Spurlock||84-83-85=252 (+36)|