May 22, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Led by senior Nathalie Mansson's 2-over 74, the 14th-ranked Tennessee golf team is in 16th place after the first round of competition on Tuesday at the 2012 NCAA Women's Golf Championships.
The Big Orange used four birdies over the last three holes to tally a 12-over 300 team total as the team finds itself 14 shots out of first place after 18 holes on the 6,377-yard Vanderbilt Legends Club course.
"My goal for this tournament was to have every round under 300," head coach Judi Pavon said. "We missed a little putt on the last hole to shoot under 300, so that was a little disappointing, but we were well over 300 a few holes ago, so we took advantage of No. 9 - a hole we need to birdie - and got some shots back. I feel good about tomorrow and going right back with a quick turnaround."
The Lady Vols will tee off of No. 1 at 8:25 a.m. CT on Wednesday in a group with Colorado and tournament leader Alabama. Live scoring is being provided by NCAA.com, while @LadyVol_Golf will have live updates via twitter.
The No. 2 Crimson Tide hold a two-shot lead after carding a two-under 286 in round one. No. 27 Virginia is in second (288), while No. 8 Duke sits in third place (289).
Individually, Virginia's Portland Rosen fired a 6-under 66 and holds a one-stroke lead in the medalist race.
Mansson paced UT with her 2-over performance. The Stockholm, Sweden, native started the round with a bogey on No. 10, flying the tenth green. She recovered, however, carding birdie on the par-4 No. 11 and was even through 15 holes before picking up two bogeys in her final three holes.
Junior Sara Monberg and freshman AJ Newell each turned in 3-over 75s for Tennessee in Tuesday's first round. Monberg managed to hit 18 fairways and 18 greens in the round, but the Juelsminde, Denmark, product found five bogeys in the round to finish three over.
Newell opened her first NCAA Championship with a round punctuated by three birdies, but spotted by a double bogey on No. 1 to finish at +3. The Lady Vol duo share a slice of 47th place heading into the second round.
Rounding out the scorers for the Lady Vols was sophomore Chessey Thomas. Tennessee's most consistent scorer from the NCAA Central Regional, Thomas was hurt by three double-bogeys over the first nine holes. The Spokane, Wash., native managed to make an adjustment at the turn, however, shooting two-under 34 in her second nine. Her four-over 76 tally is good for a tie for 70th.
Junior Erica Popson carded a 5-over 77 in the Championship's opening round. She is tied for 85th.
In its 11th NCAA Championships appearance all-time, Tennessee is seeking to surpass its best finish ever at the national tournament, a fifth-place performance in 2000.