Sept. 11, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The seventh-ranked Tennessee Lady Vol golf team opened the 2011-12 season by firing a 289 (+1) on day one of the Cougar Classic presented by Piggly Wiggly.
"Its great to be back in season and have the first day in the books," Pavon said. "There were definitely some nerves out there in the first few holes, so it's always good to get that out of the way."
"We played well today, but had a few mistakes that I didn't see in qualifying. The overall team score was good, but with a 66, we should have been a little lower. I was pleased with Sara's even par round, she was solid all day."
The Lady Vols sit in sixth place of 22 teams after day one of competition held at the par-72 Yeamans Hall course. Five of the top 10 teams in the Golfweek preseason rankings are competing at the tournament.
Junior Erica Popson paced the Orange and White by firing a 66, tying her career-low round. She leads the field at six under with three golfers tied for second place at five under par. Fellow junior Sara Monberg shot even par on the day and finished the day tied for 20th place. Both Popson and Monberg played in the Cougar Classic as freshmen in the fall of 2009.
Sophomore Chessey Thomas fired a three-over 75 for the Lady Vols, a tied-for-47th performance. Making her collegiate debut, freshman AJ Newell shot 76 on the day, tying sophomore teammate Kaitlyn Rohrback and nine others for 59th place. The freshman recorded three birdies in the first round, second-most for Tennessee.
"I think we will see AJ, Chessey and Kaitlyn score a little better tomorrow," Pavon said. "All three played well today, but had a mistake or two that kept them from shooting a lower score."
UT will try to move up the leaderboard beginning Monday at noon from the first tee. The Big Orange will start the second round again with Wake Forest and South Carolina.
Live results of Monday's second round can be found at golfstat.com.