Sept. 10, 2013
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Tennessee women's golf team closed out its first tournament of the season with a 9th place finish at the Cougar Classic at the Yeamans Hall Club. The Lady Vols climbed from as far back as 13th position to finish 9th, the same place they finished in the 2012 Cougar Classic.
The Lady Vols did not let a roster full of youth keep them from improving each day. The Big Orange carded a three day total of 299-296-288--883 (+19). After each day, the young ladies gained more confidence with every swing.
"We had a really good round today," head coach Judi Pavon said. "Chessey (Thomas), Hannah (Pietila) and Mason (Chen) stepped up today and played great. AJ (Newell) got things figured out the last few holes and made some birdies that helped us out. This was a good day for our young team."
Chessey Thomas led the way for the Lady Vols on Tuesday. The senior from Spokane, Wash., shot a third round 70 (-2) which was the best of any Vol throughout the entire week. In Thomas' final round, she recorded six birdies, four of which came between hole No. 1 and No. 6. Thomas finished tied for 26th at the Cougar Classic.
"It felt good to get in the red numbers today," Thomas said. "Judi (Pavon) told me to stay aggressive and it paid off on my last nine holes or so."
Building off of her impressive first day performance, Hannah Pietila followed up with a final round 71 (-1). The freshman from Brighton, Mich., finished the tournament tied for 26th with a total score of 73-75-71--219 (+3). Pietila's third round consisted of four birdies, one bogey and one double bogey.
The Lady Vols have been pleasantly surprised by the emergence of junior Mason Chen. The native of Taiwan shot a final round 72 (E) that included two birdies, two bogeys, and the rest pars. Chen finished the tournament tied for 44th after carding a total of 76-74-72--222 (+6)
Coach Pavon also received contributions from AJ Newell and Lucia Polo. Newell, a junior from Tampa, Fla., struggled early at the Cougar Classic. However, she bounced back on Tuesday to shoot a three day total of 79-79-75--233 (+17). Polo, a freshman from Guatemala, had an impressive second round on Monday but fell off during the final round to finish 75-73-79--227 (+11).
Sophomore transfer Emmie Pietila competed as an individual for the Lady Vols during the week and finished 90th. The native of Brighton, Mich., and sister of Hannah had a three round total of 78-78-80--236 (+20).
At the completion of the Cougar Classic, the University of Florida took home the championship 11th annual Cougar Classic crown. The Gators shot a final round 281 (-7) in the come-from-behind victory over Clemson University. The Gators defeated the Tigers by only one stroke. Florida also claimed the individual championship when Anna Young shot a final round 67 (-5). Young defeated NC State's Brittany Marchand by one stroke after sinking four birdies on the back-nine.
Tennessee will be back in action on September 20th at home in Knoxville. The Lady Vols will be hosting the 17th edition of the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship. The tournament will be held at the Cherokee Country Club.
Volunteer fans can continue to keep up with the team by following @LadyVol_Golf on Twitter.
|TEAM SCORES (Final)|
|3.||College of Charleston||289-285-287--861 (-3)|
|4.||NC State||287-287-289--863 (-1)|
|5.||Mississippi State||282-291-298--871 (+7)|
|6.||South Carolina||285-298-289--872 (+8)|
|7.||Wake Forest||287-294-298--879 (+15)|
|13.||Penn State||299-302-296--897 (+33)|
|14.||Ole Miss||305-297-298--900 (+36)|
|17.||Coastal Carolina||303-305-306--914 (+50)|
|20.||Charleston Southern||329-324-314--967 (+103)|
|INDIVIDUAL LEADERS (Final)|
|1.||Anna Young, Florida||73-71-67--211 (-5)|
|T-2.||Sloan Shanahan, Clemson||69-69-74--212 (-4)|
|T-2.||Ashlan Ramsey, Clemson||72-69-71--212 (-4)|
|T-2.||Brittany Marchand, NC State||66-77-69--212 (-4)|
|UT SCORES (Final)|
|T-26.||Chessey Thomas||75-74-70--219 (+3)|
|T-26.||Hannah Pietila||73-75-71--219 (+3)|
|T-44.||Mason Chen||76-74-72--222 (+6)|
|T-59.||Lucia Polo||75-73-79--227 (+11)|
|T-83.||AJ Newell||79-79-75--233 (+17)|
|90.||*Emmie Pietila||78-78-80--236 (+20)|