Sara Monberg carded the sixth par or better round of her career on Tuesday
Sept. 28, 2010
By Zach Stipe, Media Relations Assistant
WOLCOTT, Colo. - Buoyed by its best score of the season, the 12th-ranked Tennessee women's golf team vaulted to fifth on the final day of the Golfweek Conference Challenge on Tuesday.
UT posted the second-best final round in the 18-team field - a 3-over 291 - to wrap up the 54-hole tournament at the scenic Red Sky Golf Club. The Big Orange's three-day total of 894 (+30) was an 18-stroke improvement on its season-opening NCAA Fall Preview performance.
Sophomore Sara Monberg shook off two lackluster rounds to open the tournament and carded a 1-under 71 to lead the Lady Vols' charge up the leaderboard in the final round. UT passed Denver (897) and UNLV (896) to take fifth.
"Today, we played much better golf," Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon said. "Sara finished off with a great round - which will boost her confidence. Chessey had another great round and both Erica and Nathalie played well today and had solid finishes. Our last two rounds here were more like Tennessee golf, so hopefully we are moving in the right direction."
No. 9 Virginia used the only final round score lower than Tennessee's, a 1-under 287, to runaway with the team title. The Cavaliers carded an 877 (+13) to outdistance No. 7 Arizona (883), Tulane (889) and UC-Davis (891).
Virginia's Brittany Altomare captured medalist honors by one stroke with a 4-under 212 total.
Mansson's final round push - she shook off back to back bogeys early on - helped her nab the 11th top-10 finish of her career as she tied for eighth with a 4-over 220 tally.
Popson followed a few shots behind in tied-for-16th position with a 7-over 223 total. The Davenport, Fla., native had an uneven third round, carding two doubles, two bogeys, two birdies and an eagle on the par-5 second hole. Mansson also fired an eagle during second round action on Monday.
Thomas' second straight day of 1-over-par golf propelled her to a tie for 24th with a 225 (+9) total, while Monberg finished one shot back of her rookie teammate in a tie for 26th at 226 (+10). She recorded four birdies on Tuesday for the sixth par or better round of her career.
Sophomore Leigh Henderson was UT's fifth finisher. After making the turn at 2-under, the Knoxville native was unglued by back-to-back doubles and finished with a 78. Her three-day total of 243 (+27) tied her for 73rd.
The Lady Vols can now turn their attention to defending their home turf in a little over a week at the Mercedes-Benz Women's Collegiate Championships, from Oct. 8-10, in Knoxville. Last season, UT won its home tournament by a record 19 strokes and Mansson took home the individual title with a playoff victory. This year, the competition will be held at Holston Hills Country Club for the first-time ever in the 14-year history of the event.
UT will also host a free women's golf clinic this Sunday at the brand new Mack and Jonnie Day Golf Practice Facility from 4 to 5 p.m. as the Lady Vols team with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to raise money in the fight against breast cancer.
|LADY VOL SCORES|
|t8.||Nathalie Mansson||72-75-73=220 (+4)|
|t16.||Erica Popson||76-73-74=223 (+7)|
|t24.||Chessey Thomas||79-73-73=225 (+9)|
|t26.||Sara Monberg||77-78-71=226 (+10)|
|t73.||Leigh Henderson||81-84-78=243 (+27)|