Oct. 8, 2004
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Sophomore Holly Cantwell (Morristown, Tenn.) fired a two-under par 69 and sits in a tie for first place with Kent State's Gabby Wedding after day one of the Mercedes-Benz Women's Collegiate Championships. The round is the lowest of Cantwell's career, topping a previous-best mark of 73 and is the best ever by a Lady Vol in the eight-year history of the event. As a team, Tennessee shot a total of 309 and sits in 12th place after day one.
"I'm really exited for her (Cantwell)," Lady Vol Head Coach Judi Pavon said. "I know it's her lowest score ever so that is pretty exciting as well."
The Arkansas Lady Razorbacks fired a team total of 289 and leads the event by four strokes over defending tournament champion Ohio State. The score of 289 is
the best-ever opening round at the Mercedes-Benz. Kelly Hester's squad was led by a pair of seniors, Gena Johnson and Amanda McCurdy. Johnson had a one-under
par 70 while McCurdy shot an even-par 71.
"I think that often in women's golf you have a couple of players that score well and a couple that don't play quite as well," Hester said. "Hopefully we can build on what we did today and continue to get better."
In the race for the medallist honors, Johnson and Michigan State's Mandi McConnell are both one stroke back of co-leaders Cantwell and Wedding.
For Tennessee, preseason All-American Violeta Retamoza (Aguacalientes, Mexico) provided consistent golf again for the Big Orange. On the day, the Mexico native shot a one-over par 72 to sit in a tie for ninth place. Freshman Marci Turner (Tompkinsville, Ky.) continues to play well, as she carded a first-round total of 75.
"We have a lot of work to do," Pavon said. "We didn't really execute well today but we have a lot of local knowledge. If the girls can just relax and play their games we can really make up some ground over the next two days. They got their nerves out of the way today. Violeta had a pretty good round out there so we'll see if we can't get the rest of them to play better tomorrow."
Sarah Bonner-Shanks (Kingsport, Tenn), playing in her first event as a Lady Vol, shot a four-over par 75 on the day, including just one-over par on the back nine. Teesha Ash (Chattanooga, Tenn.) Jessica Shepley (Oakville, Ontario) and Golda Johansson (Lund, Sweden) all finished the day with scores of 81. Jennifer Davis (Seymour, Tenn.) turned in a final score of 85 in her first event as a Lady Vol, while Christie Reed (Coral Spring, Fla.) shot an 87 on the day.
Round two of the Mercedes-Benz Women's Collegiate Championships will start Saturday at 8:30 a.m.The final round will begin on Sunday, also at 8:30 a.m.