Sept. 13, 2002
The 19th/21st ranked University of Tennessee Lady Vol golf squad jumped into first place Friday by dominating the 16-team field at the Lady Kat Invitational in Lexington, Ky. The Big Orange laid a solid foundation for an overall successful tournament with an outstanding performance from its fivesome to finish with a 2-over 290 that ties for sixth-place on UT's team low-round total. The Lady Vols lead SEC foe Mississippi State's second-place 301 by 11 strokes, while Penn State is 13 strokes back in third with a 303. The tournament is being played on a 6,150 yard/par 72 layout at the University Club of Kentucky and is also the site of the 2003 SEC Championships.
Team captain Jessica Shepley (Oakville, Ontario) leads the pack with a career-best round of 69, which is two shots better than her previous standard of 71 set in the 2002 Lady Gamecock Classic. One shot behind Shepley is freshman Violeta Retamoza (Aquascalientes, Mexico) who fired a 2-under 70 as an individual competitor to move into second-place among the field. Juniors Mary Jan Fernandez (Henderson, Nev.) and Tai Perry (Unionville, Pa.) are tied for sixth with 1-over 73s. Retamoza's fellow freshman newcomer Golda Johansson (Lund, Sweden) currently sits tied for 13th with a 3-over 75. Rounding out the orange-clad golfers' first-round is sophomore Ryan Kirk (Hixson, Tenn.) who carded an 11-over 83.
"I'm excited about the way my team began the season." Head Coach Judi Pavon said. "I'm proud of Jessica's career-best performance today and am happy with the way Violeta began her collegiate career. I'm also pleased with the solid work of Mary Jan, Tai, Golda and Ryan."
The second and third rounds will be played Saturday and Sunday as the Lady Vols look to extend their lead during the first tournament of the season.
|TOP FIVE TEAM STANDINGS|
|t6.||Mary Jan Fernandez||73|
* = playing as an individual