Sept. 14, 2008
HANAHAN, S.C. - Freshman Nathalie Mansson's two-over 74 led the 25th-ranked Lady Vol women's golf team on Sunday during day one of the Cougar Classic at Yeamans Hall Golf Course.
UT sits 20 strokes back of co-leaders Georgia and Virginia (288), but will have plenty of opportunities to move up the leaderboard with 36 holes left to play in the season-opener.
"We saw a lot of positive things on the course today, but they weren't reflected in our scores," UT head women's golf coach Judi Pavon said. "We got off to a decent start, but during the middle of the round we didn't take advantage of our birdies and ended up making bogeys."
Mansson, who is tied for 27th, shot an even-par 36 on the back nine, capping her first round of collegiate golf with birdies on par-5 holes, 15 and 18.
Cantú also rebounded from a rough front nine, playing even-par the final nine holes and firing two birdies. She carded a four-over 76 and is tied for 54th heading into day two.
Spurlock fired a 78 in her first round for the Big Orange, while Brown opened her junior campaign with an 80. Spurlock is tied for 76th and Brown is in a tie for 87th. UT's fifth player, sophomore Rebecca Watson shot an 82.
Georgia and Virginia sit atop the team leaderboard thanks in part to stellar individual play. Bulldog Mallory Hetzel and Cavalier Whitney Neuhauser share the individual lead after both shooting four-under 68.
The Lady Vols lost their top two finishers (Marci Turner and Angela Oh) from last year's Cougar Classic runner-up team and also are playing without injured senior Nicole Smith.
The inexperience showed on day one as UT recorded five double bogeys. However, Pavon took some positives from the Big Orange's first round of the season. The Lady Vols carded six birdies, including five on the back nine, and Mansson and Cantú rebounded to play par-golf for the back nine.
"Nathalie (Mansson) and Diana (Cantú) both finished well and Lauren (Spurlock) had a solid round going until an errant drive on 17," Pavon said. "We worked on some things this afternoon and we expect to play better tomorrow."
The Lady Vols are paired with Mississippi State and Mississippi for round two and will tee off from hole No. 10 at 7:40 a.m. on Monday morning.
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