Feb. 12, 2013
With a degree in hand and her collegiate career behind her, Nathalie Mansson looks to begin the next chapter of her golf career by turning professional.
The former Lady Vol standout takes her first step towards her pro career by competing in the Sun Coast Series in Florida, with hopes of getting on the Symetra Tour.
"I think for me it's good to start early because I haven't really played tournaments in a while," Mansson said. "That's why I want to get started. I don't have any huge expectations in these, just to get ready for the rest of the season. Whatever I can get in to, I'm going to go to. And then I'll try to qualify in the fall to get into the LPGA tour."
The native of Stockholm, Sweden, stepped foot on UT's campus in 2008, where she had a breakout freshman season, leading the Lady Vols with a 73.79 stroke average, and posting 10 rounds of par or better. She would go on to earn 16 top-10 finishes and 30 top-25 finishes, including three individual titles at the Rebel Intercollegiate (2011), Alamo Invitational (2009) and the Lady Vols' home tournament, the Mercedes-Benz Championship (2009) throughout her career donning the Orange and White.
Her four years donning the Orange and White have prepared her for the next step.
"Just being at Tennessee and having Judi (Pavon) as my coach has been really cool," Mansson said. "I couldn't have asked for anyone better, but I think being at Nationals all four years was really good, even though I didn't play that well it was a really cool experience. It feels really big when you're there compared to the rest of the year."
Mansson holds the second-lowest single season average in UT history when she boasted a 73.059 stroke average her sophomore campaign. Her 16 top-10 finishes during her career ranks third overall on Lady Vol golf's top-10 finishes chart.
The Swede also was a three-time Golfweek All-America honoree and earned NGCA honors in 2010. But Mansson believes her greatest moment at Tennessee came during her sophomore year.
"I think when I won personally at the Mercedes-Benz and when we won as a team was the coolest thing. I felt like I did whatever I could to get done at the tournament and the team did as well and it was great."
After wrapping up her standout career as a Lady Vol, Mansson spent this past fall putting in hours at the Mack and Jonnie Day Golf Practice Facility, as well as surrounding courses to perfect her game.
"I've practiced a lot and my swing hasn't this been this good in the last two to three years, probably since my sophomore year," Mansson said. "So I'm excited to see how much I have improved with my swing and that I can show on the course."
"Nathalie is extremely talented," Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon said. "I'm glad that she turned pro, she should have. It's a good, natural step for her. It's what she's always wanted to do, that's why she left home and came over here. She's really good ball striker and also a good putter. She has a good short game. If she can really be confident out there, and play the game she's capable of, she'll have a successful pro career."
Combining her experience on Rocky Top with her international background playing on the Swedish national team, Mansson embarks on the journey as a professional golfer.
"I feel I have done a lot of good things, such as playing in the Swedish national team," Mansson said. "I've been all over the world playing and won so many cool tournaments. I feel this is really the next new chapter and I'm excited about turning pro, and being able to see if what I've done is good enough for professional golf."