Oct. 7, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. -- The No. 18 Lady Vol golf team wrapped up play at the Liz Murphey Fall Preview on Sunday, posting a final-round 302 to bring the team total to 899 (+35) finishing 11th at the University of Georgia Golf Course.
The tournament served as a preview of the 2013 NCAA Championship, as the top 10 teams from last year's championship and eight more with high rankings made the trip to Athens. UT faced one of the most elite fields in collegiate golf this season, as 15 teams in the Golfstat Top 50 competed at the tournament.
"This was another very strong field and we did beat a couple highly ranked teams which was a positive," said head coach Judi Pavon. "We didn't get off to a great start today, but held it together until a couple big numbers got us on the back side. This is a very tough golf course, so it was good to have a chance to compete on it this week so we will know how to prepare for the NCAA in May."
Junior Chessey Thomas shot even-par 72 in the final round, finishing in a tie for 23rd with 221 (+5) to be the top Lady Vol scorer in the tournament. Senior Erica Popson followed in a tie for 26th after carding a 5-over par 77 on Sunday for a score of 222 (+6).
"Chessey had a very good tournament and a good round today," Pavon said. "She fought hard on the golf course to keep her rounds together and was a good leader out there for us."
Sophomore AJ Newell finished in a tie or 45th at 227 (+11), while senior Sara Monberg carded a 229 (+13) to end the Liz Murphey Fall Preview in a tie for 57th. Freshman Ashlee Pickerell came in 84th with a 239 (+23).
North Carolina claimed the team crown with a 876 (+12), with Alabama coming in second with 880 (+16) and Auburn and USC tying for third at 883 (+19).
The Lady Vols return to Knoxville next weekend as they host the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championships Oct. 12-14 at Holston Hills Country Club.