Sept. 16, 2008
HANAHAN, S.C. - Freshman Nathalie Mansson's collegiate debut highlighted the 25th-ranked Tennessee women's golf team's season-opening performance as the Lady Vols finished 15th at the Cougar Classic on Tuesday.
UT closed the season-opening tournament with a 311 team score for the final round to give the squad a 914 (+50) total score at the par-72, 6,159-yard Yeamans Hall Golf Course.
The Lady Vols opened the tournament by shooting a 308 on Sunday before torching the course with a 294 second round on Monday, a round in which UT was one-under par at the turn and jumped from 18th place to 12th place. The Big Orange ran out of steam in the final round, though, and could not continue its rise up the team rankings.
"We had such a bad start today, that it was very hard to get back on track," Lady Vol head women's golf coach Judi Pavon said.
The one Lady Vol who did stay on track during the final round was Mansson, though. Heading into Tuesday, Mansson was even-par and tied for 13th. She capped off her first-ever collegiate tournament by shooting 72 to stay even and rose to 12th place, in a tie with Olivia Jordan-Higgins of Charleston Southern with a score of 216 (E). The Stockholm, Sweden native had two birdies and two bogeys in the final round.
"Nathalie had a great tournament," Pavon said. "She is a very good player and had a good start to her college career. She missed a few putts this week or she could have finished even better."
Junior Diana Cantú was the next best Lady Vol at the season-opener, carding 76-74-77=227 (+11), to finish tied for 47 th. Sophomore Lauren Spurlock tied for 80th with a score of 78-76-80=324 (+18), while junior Ginny Brown wrapped up the scoring for the Lady Vols by carding 80-75-82=237 (+21) for t91st. UT's fifth player, sophomore Rebecca Watson shot 82-79-85=246 (+30) for the tournament.
After UT's superb play to start Monday, the Big Orange came out of the 8:45 a.m. shotgun start on Tuesday struggling. Cantú and Brown each bogeyed their first hole, while Spurlock and Watson each marked down double-bogies after one hole of play.
After shooting poorly through the first nine holes (+8), Spurlock was even-par over the final nine.
"Lauren hung in there today to keep her score under control after getting off to a bad start," Pavon said.
Cantu was never able to get on the mark during the final round, negating three birdies with eight bogeys. She did, however, finish the tournament tied for first in par three scoring, averaging 2.83 strokes for holes No. 3, 6, 13 and 16.
"Diana played OK," Pavon said. "She didn't score well, but her game looks pretty solid overall."
Georgia led wire-to-wire and won the tournament by five strokes with a total score of 858 (-6) over Southeastern Conference rival Alabama, who scored 863 (-1).
Florida State's Caroline Westrup fired a tournament record-low 66 on Tuesday to finish a 10-under par and win medalist honors with a total score of 206.
The Lady Vols return to action on Sept. 26-28 as they travel to Nashville for Vanderbilt's Mason Rudolph.
|Lady Vol Placements|
|Lady Vol Team Score|