March 6, 2013
The 54-hole tournament runs Friday through Sunday and will take place at Long Cove Club in Hilton Head, S.C., which features a par-71, 6,160-yard layout.
"This tournament last year was our first event of the spring and the golf course was a little bit tricky," head coach Judi Pavon said. "We've moved it back to make it our second event so we'd have a competition under our belt, so hopefully that will pay off for us with being a little more confident when we're out on the golf course. This is going to be a stronger field so we wanted to be ready to go."
Tennessee is coming off a third-place finish at the FSU Match-Up last month where the team faced many of the same teams it will compete against this weekend. In Tallahassee, senior Erica Popson also claimed a share of the top individual spot carding a 2-under par 214.
"We got off to a pretty decent start at our last tournament," Pavon said. "It was a good way to start the spring. The kids have been really working hard. With the addition with our two new players, it's changed the dynamic a little bit and made it a little bit more competitive. That's been really good for us."
The Lady Vols' lineup will consist of senior Erica Popson, junior Chessey Thomas, sophomore AJ Newell, senior Sara Monberg and sophomore Daeun Song. This will be the first team tournament for Song, who competed as in the Lady Bulldog Individual Championship last month. Sophomore Mason Chen will compete as an individual.
"I am so excited about going to the tournament," Song said. "We have been practicing hard and we believe in each other. I'm excited about it."
"I think it's good we already have one tournament going into this one," Monberg said. "Everyone has worked hard and has been doing what they need to do to get ready to compete."
This year's tournament field is one of the strongest in collegiate golf this season as 12 of the 15 teams featured are ranked in the Golfstat Top 50. Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina and Vanderbilt join Tennessee to make up a strong SEC contingent, while Arizona State, Central Florida, Furman, North Carolina, TCU, Virginia and Wake Forest round out the field.
First-round play begins Friday at 8:30 a.m. as the Lady Vols will tee off the first hole. Live results will be available here.