Oct. 27, 2009
SAN ANTONIO -- It was déjà vu for the Tennessee women's golf team on Tuesday at Briggs Ranch Golf Club, as the Lady Vols and their No. 1 player, Nathalie Mansson, stood atop the leaderboard for the second straight tournament to cap the fall portion of their schedule with back-to-back wins.
UT rebounded from a poor start to capture the 18-hole Alamo Invitational title with a final score of 1-over 289. Mansson tied with Notre Dame's Annie Brophy for medalist honors after both fired 2-under-par 70s.
Coming into the tournament, Tennessee was fresh from capturing the team and individual titles at the Mercedes-Benz Women's Collegiate Championships on Oct. 18.
The Alamo Invitational was originally scheduled to be played over two days with rounds one and two on Monday and the final round on Tuesday, but severe weather forced the cancellation of the first 36 holes, turning the competition into a one-round tournament.
"The ladies played great today," Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon said. "With just 18 holes anything can happen out there, so to play well under the pressure of the day was awesome. This team is starting to realize how good they are. We will head into the offseason with some great feelings and knowing where we need to improve. Congratulations to Nathalie, as well, on winning her second consecutive individual tournament."
Mansson, a sophomore, began Tuesday with a bogey on the par-4 first hole. That would be her only mistake, however, as she followed with the first of her three birdies on hole No. 2. Mansson ended up tying for medalist honors with Brophy when the latter bogeyed her final hole.
The Stockholm, Sweden, native becomes the first Lady Vol ever to capture medalist honors at back-to-back tournaments, and it's the third time Tennessee has won two straight tournaments, the last occurrence coming in 2001.
Mansson joins Marci Turner (three), Violets Retamoza (three) and Katharina Larsson (two) as the only multiple tournament winners in UT history. Her 2-under-par round gives her seven rounds of par or better this season and she ends the fall season with an impressive 71.90 stroke average.
In addition to Mansson's spectacular performance, three other Lady Vols placed in the top 21 for the fourth consecutive tournament.
Senior Diana Cantú and freshman Sara Monberg both fired even-par 72s to tie for fourth-place - a career-best finish for both - while freshman Erica Popson tied for 19th at 3-over 75. Senior Ginny Brown had a rare off day, turning in a 7-over 79 to tie for 39th.
Cantú began the day with a double bogey, and was three-over-par after three holes, but added a birdie and the tournament's only eagle on the par-5 No. 13 to finish even.
Monberg countered four bogeys with a team-best four birdies en route to her 72.
Four of five Lady Vols bogeyed their first hole, but Tennessee gradually climbed up the leaderboard until it was alone in first-place, three shots ahead of Notre Dame (292) and Texas A&M (292).
The Orange and White cap the fall on a high note with back-to-back wins and a top-10 national ranking (No. 7 in Golfweek and No. 10 in Golfstat). Tennessee will return from a nearly four-month break at the Arizona Wildcat in February, looking to carry its momentum from October into the spring.
|Lady Vol Scores|