April 2, 2009
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Tennessee women's golf team heads to North Carolina to compete in the Bryan National Collegiate this Friday through Sunday at the Champions Course at Bryan Park.
This is the ninth straight year the Lady Vols have competed at the Bryan National Collegiate, and their 10th appearance overall in 12 years of the tournament's existence.
Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon will field a lineup of senior Nicole Smith, freshman Nathalie Mansson, sophomore Lauren Spurlock and juniors Ginny Brown and Diana Cantú. Sophomore Rebecca Watson will compete as an individual on the par-72, 6,500-yard course.
"We are looking forward to being back in action this weekend at the Bryan National Collegiate," Pavon said. "It is one of my favorite tournaments of the season. Again, we are facing another super strong field, so we will need to be at our best to finish well. The players have had some time over the last couple of weeks to get healthy and work on their games so we're hoping that work will pay off."
Tennessee tied for 11th at the 2008 Bryan National. Current Lady Vols Cantú (t37th, 234), Smith (58th, 240) and Brown (t78th, 247) each competed at the tournament last season.
This will be Smith's fourth appearance at the tournament, Cantú's third and Brown's second. Smith tied for sixth at the Bryan National in 2006.
Wake Forest and UNC Greensboro are co-hosts of the 18-team tournament that features eight squads ranked in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin performance index top-25: Virginia (No. 4), Wake Forest (8), LSU (11), Georgia (13), North Carolina (14), Arkansas (18), Louisville (19) and Michigan State (20).
The Lady Vols are currently ranked No. 34 by Golfweek, but received the 26th-most votes in the latest NGCA/Coaches poll.
At their last tournament, Tennessee placed eighth with a season-best score of 880 en route to defeating seven teams ranked in the Golfweek top-20 at the UCF Challenge from March 8.
Smith, playing in just her second tournament of the season, tied for 14th and finished with a Lady Vol season-best score of 215 (-1). In two tournaments, the Riverside, Calif., native is carrying a 74.67 stroke average good for second best on the squad.
Mansson has been spectacular in her first collegiate season, leading the Lady Vols with a 73.60 stroke average. She has been UT's top finisher in four tournaments this season, including at the Lady Puerto Classic where she placed third to lead Tennessee to a runner-up finish.
Tennessee starts the tournament from the tenth tee at 9:40 a.m. on Friday.
Live results can be found at Golfstat.com.