Sept. 23, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Lady Vol golf team opened the 2011 Mason Rudolph Fall Preview Friday, firing a 303 (+15) on day one of competition in Nashville, Tenn. No team in the field finished round one of play under par.
"It rained overnight and early this morning," Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavón said. "The course played quite long and the greens are new and firm so that contributed to the scores being high."
"The course was really wet today which made it a lot longer than we usually play," Junior Sara Monberg added. "Also the greens are new, so they are really firm and it's really hard to hit them close to make birdies."
The Lady Vols are tied for eighth in a field of 18 teams at the invitation-only tournament hosted by Vanderbilt. The top 14 teams in the Golfweek preseason poll are at the event, held at the par-72 Legends Club.
UT will try to move up the leaderboard beginning Saturday at 9:34 a.m. from the 10th tee. The Big Orange will start the second round grouped with Texas A&M and Duke.
"We have got to clean up a few mistakes to play better tomorrow," Pavón said. "We had some unusually poor shots that cost us. This golf course actually suits our team well."
Monberg paced the Orange and White in round one, firing a two-over 74 to lead Tennessee. She recorded three birdies on the back nine en route to a tied-for-17th placement.
"I played well today," Monberg said. "I let some shots get away from me but I stayed positive and kept fighting. For tomorrow I have to try to get into the same rhythm and hit one shot at a time."
Sophomore Chessey Thomas and Junior Erica Popson also played well on the back nine, recording two birdies each over the final nine holes. Thomas was five-over through her first nine, but finished the round at +3 (75), tied for 27th with Popson.
"Sara, Erica and Chessey all played well on the back nine to keep us competitive in the tournament," Pavón said. "It's supposed to be a nice day tomorrow, so I would like to see everybody shoot in the low 70s and see if we can move up the leaderboard."
Southern California leads the field after day one with a four-over 292 total and holds a one-shot lead over second-place Arizona State (293) heading into day two.
The Sundevils' Justine Lee carded the only round under par on day one, leading the field at one-under with 36 holes remaining.
Live results of Saturday's second round can be found at golfstat.com.
|LADY VOL SCORES|
|t17.||Sara Monberg||74 (+2)|
|t27.||Erica Popson||75 (+3)|
|t27.||Chessey Thomas||75 (+3)|
|t66.||AJ Newell||79 (+7)|
|t88.||Kaitlyn Rohrback||83 (+11)|