Oct. 19, 2003

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Head Coach Judi Pavon's golf squad knocked out another solid round in the opener of the 2003 Mercedes-Benz Women's Collegiate Championships at Fox Den Country Club. The Lady Vols commenced their home tournament with a 12-over 300 to finish in sixth place after the initial round.

"I am pleased with how everyone played," Pavon said. "Golda [Johansson] is back and playing well. She has worked hard to get back to where she is today. [Jessica] Shepley birdied a couple holes in the final stretch to come in one-over and help us out and Violeta [Retamoza] hung tough with her injury to have a solid round. Teesha [Ash] also had a great round as an individual."

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Oklahoma State and the Swedish Junior National Team fired 291s to lead the field after the first day of the event. The pair of performances tied Duke's second-round effort in the 1998 edition of the Mercedes-Benz for the fourth-best round in tourney history.

"I am happy with my team today," Swedish Junior National Team Head Coach Maria Bertilskold said. "We did very good today and followed our game plan. I am excited and look forward to tomorrow and the next day."

Individually, Swedish Junior National Team member Pernilla Lindberg leads the 88-player field with a two-under 70. The effort tied for the 11th-lowest mark in Mercedes-Benz history.

"I am really happy about my play today," Lindberg said. "I felt good today and did not have many problems. My team played well today and our goal is to win the tournament."

As for Tennessee, team captain Jessica Shepley (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) fired a one-over 73 to tie for 11th place and put herself just three strokes off the medalist lead. A trio of orange-clad golfers completed the day tied for 25th place as sophomores Golda Johansson (Lund, Sweden) and Violeta Retamoza (Aguascalientes, Mexico) and junior Teesha Ash (Chattanooga, Tenn.), playing as an individual, each carded three-over 75s during the first day. Senior Mary Jan Fernandez (Henderson, Nev.) rounded out UT scoring with a 44th-place-tying five-over 77. Rookie Holly Cantwell (Morristown, Tenn.) closed out the day for the Big Orange with a career-low six-over 78 to tie for 52nd place.

"I felt good about my round," Shepley said. "I did not have a great start, but held in there and kept the ball in play. I just ground it out today. The team had five solid scores. They played well even though the first day of our home tournament is a bit nerve-wracking. We just need to build on this tomorrow."

Tennessee will be paired up with Tulane and Georgia tomorrow with tee times starting at 9:02 a.m. ET. UT will then conclude the Mercedes-Benz Women's Collegiate Championships on Tuesday with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.

Mercedes-Benz Women's Collegiate Championships
At Fox Den Country Club (Knoxville, Tenn.)

Team Scores:
1.Swedish Jr. National Team291
Oklahoma State291
3.Ohio State296
7.Louisiana State301
Michigan State301
10.South Carolina304
15.Kent State311
16.Penn State318
Top Scorer (field=88):
1.Pernilla Lindberg, Sweden70
UT Scores:
T11.Jessica Shepley73
T25.Golda Johansson75
T25.Violeta Retamoza75
T44.Mary Jan Fernandez77
T52.Holly Cantwell78
T25.Teesha Ash *75

* - played as an individual





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