Mansson, Lady Vols Capture Victories

April 3, 2011

By Zach Stipe, Media Relations Assistant

Final Results Get Acrobat Reader

By Zach Stipe, Media Relations Assistant

OXFORD, Miss. - The No. 11-ranked Tennessee Lady Volunteer golf team cruised to its second tournament title of the season on Sunday, recording a final round 6-over-par 294 to win the Rebel Intercollegiate by 30 strokes at the Ole Miss Golf Course.

Junior All-American Nathalie Mansson nabbed her third career individual title, tying the Lady Vol career record for wins, by edging her teammate sophomore Erica Popson on the third playoff hole after both Lady Vols tallied 3-under 213 54-hole totals.

Tennessee's 290-279-294=863 (-1) set a tournament record by 14 strokes and easily pushed it past second-place Tulsa (893) and third-place No. 10-ranked Tulane (898) at the par-72, 6,351-yard course.

"I am really proud of our team," Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon said. "Our goal was to have a big win this week, so to go out and make it happen was wonderful. Today got very windy on the back nine, so we knew we had to make our birdies early - which we did. Sometimes with a big lead you can have a letdown, but I thought it was a good effort today. Sara (Monberg) had another great week, as did Kaitlyn (Rohrback). Chessey (Thomas) had a good tournament, too, and to have Nathalie and Erica tie for first was awesome."

The Lady Vols opened the tournament by taking an eight-shot lead after round one and pushed the advantage to 24 strokes after a school-record 279 round two score.

Mansson won the competition by making a par on No. 18, the third playoff hole. She and Popson had both made par on the previous two playoff holes.

The Stockholm, Sweden, native recorded seven birdies and carded a tournament-record and a career-best-tying 67 on Saturday before tallying a 2-over-74 on Sunday for her 72-67-74=213 total. She had one birdie during the final round and was able to rebound from a triple bogey on Hole No. 14 to capture medalist honors after tying with Popson.

"I feel like I've been playing really well," Mansson said. "I got unlucky with one hole today, but I've been playing much better lately. I'm really excited for the postseason. I hit the ball really well on the first day, I just didn't hit my putts. On the second day, I made my puts and had a great score. Today, we just kept our solid play going. It was a lot of fun. We have worked so hard, and we were so close to winning last week. It was our turn."

Last weekend, the Lady Vols finished just two strokes out of first-place at the Bryan National Collegiate, but they had no trouble taking down the 18-team field at the Mississippi-hosted event this weekend and building more momentum toward the upcoming SEC Tournament from April 15-17 at Auburn, Ala.

Popson had four birdies on Sunday, but made three consecutive bogeys on a very windy back nine to finish with a 1-over 73 and a 71-69-73=213 total score. It's the second straight tournament the Davenport, Fla., native has finished in the first position after winning the Bryan National Collegiate from March 25-27.

Sophomore Sara Monberg tied for sixth with a 72-73-73=218 (+2) score, while freshman Kaitlyn Rohrback finish 11th with a 75-70-76=221 (+5) total.

Freshman Chessey Thomas tied for 12th - her best career placement - after tallying a 76-73-74=223 (+7) total.

Mansson also won the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championships and Alamo Invitational in October of 2009. Her three career victories tie her with Marci Turner and Violeta Retamoza for the most medalist honors in Lady Vol history.

This marks Tennessee's 22nd all-time tournament win and second of 2010-11. The Lady Vols also won the 2010 Mercedes-Benz in the fall.

t1. Nathalie Mansson* 72-67-74=213 (-3)
t1. Erica Popson 71-69-73=213 (-3)
t6. Sara Monberg 72-73-73=218 (+2)
11. Kaitlyn Rohrback 75-70-76=221 (+5)
t12. Chessey Thomas 76-73-74=223 (+7)
1. Tennessee 290-279-294=863 (-1)
*Captured medalist on third playoff hole.





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