Sept. 13, 2009
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Sophomore Nathalie Mansson fired a career-best 67 during the second round of play at the 2009 Duramed Cougar Classic and the No. 18 Lady Vol women's golf team heads into Monday's final round in a tie for sixth at Yeamans Hall.
UT kicked off the 2009-10 season by playing back-to-back rounds at the par-72, 6,211-yard course on Sunday.
As a team, the Lady Vols carded a 6-over 294 for the first round in the morning and sat in seventh place. The Big Orange rose a spot to tied for sixth in the afternoon, though, as Mansson's career-best performance helped give UT a second round score of 1-over 289.
Tennessee's 583 (+7) total places it in a tie with Wisconsin and behind No. 14 Georgia (-13), Florida State (-1), Furman (-1), No. 15 North Carolina (+2) and No. 21 Vanderbilt (+3).
The Lady Vols begin the final round of the tournament from hole No. 3 in a group with Vanderbilt and UNC on Monday at 8:45 a.m.
Mansson shot a 4-over 76 during the first round, before starting the second round with two birdies in three holes. She finished the second round with eight birdies and three bogeys. Her nine total birdies through 36 holes are tied for the second-most in the tournament. Her total score of 76=67=143 (-1) ties her for 12th.
Despite the Stockholm, Sweden, native's spectacular afternoon performance, the Lady Vols are still 20 strokes back of the SEC-rival Bulldogs, who appear to be running away with the tournament. However, UT is just eight strokes behind the runner-up position.
"We played really well today, but missed a lot of opportunities to really shoot low," Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon said. "We need to have a solid day tomorrow and wrap up this tournament by playing our best golf."
Mansson's score is career-best by two strokes and the 11th par or better round of her career. Her previous best round was the 1-under 69 she fired during the first round of the NCAA East Regional at Florida's Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville. Her 67 also ties for the fourth-lowest round ever recorded by a Lady Vol.
"Nathalie really turned it on for the second 18," Pavon said. "And that's what we need from her."
Mansson wasn't the only Big Orange golfer to turn in great rounds either as Tennessee's 583 total is the ninth-best score in UT history through 36 holes.
Senior Ginny Brown led UT during the first round of play with a 1-under 71, and appeared on her way to another outstanding score in the second round after she made three birdies in her first five holes. A string of four bogeys in five holes erased that though and she ended the second round with a score of 75. She stands alone in 24th-place with a score of 71-75=146 (+2).
Popson, from Davenport, Fla., opened with a 3-over 75 in the morning before rebounding to shoot an even-par 72 in the afternoon, while Cantú bogeyed just two holes in the first round to shoot a 72 and followed with a 75. The pair is tied at 25th at 147 (+3)
Junior Lauren Spurlock was UT's No. 5 player on Sunday as she fired a 7-over 79 for the first round before a 4-over 76 in the afternoon. Her 155 (+11) has her tied for 68th.
Playing as an individual, UT freshman Sara Monberg opened with an 8-over 80 before erasing the first-year jitters she likely felt to card a 1-under 71 in the afternoon. She has a 151 (+7) total.
Georgia jumped out the lead behind twin 67s from Marta Silva Zamora and Emilie Burger to open the tournament, while Milena Savich and Carolina Andrade each carded 69s during the second round. Silva Zamara (-6) is two strokes back from the leader, Lacey Agnew, of Florida State. Agnew followed a 71 with tournament-record 7-under 65 and has a 136 (-8) total with a round to play.
Live results of the 2009 Duramed Cougar Classic can be found at www.golfstat.com.
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