April 18, 2013
Round 1 Tee Times | Championship Central | SEC Championship Records
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee women's golf team travels to Birmingham, Ala., for the 2013 SEC Championship on April 19-21. The event will take place at the par-72, 6,401-yard Greystone Golf and Country Club in Hoover, Ala.
The 54-hole event begins with 18 holes on Friday, April 19, and concludes on Sunday, April 21, with the final round. The Lady Vols are set to tee off at 9:00 a.m. ET Friday, and will be paired with LSU and Kentucky in the first round.
"The SEC is tough," head coach Judi Pavon said. "We love the tournament because it's so exciting, it's such a nice event. We're going to a neutral site for the first time. But it's a tough competition."
This year's championship features 12 teams ranked in Golfstat's Top-50 including seven in the top-30. No. 1 Alabama headlines the league, followed by No. 7 Florida, No. 9 Arkansas, No. 11 Vanderbilt, No. 22 Texas A&M, No. 26 Georgia and No. 27 LSU. Tennessee is ranked 32nd heading into the weekend, followed by No. 35 South Carolina, No. 46 Kentucky, No. 49 Mississippi State and No. 50 Ole Miss. Auburn and Missouri round out the conference teams.
In the line-up for Tennessee is senior Erica Popson, sophomore AJ Newell, sophomore Daeun Song, junior Chessey Thomas and senior Sara Monberg. UT has utilitized this line-up in three of its four tournaments this spring, finishing as high as third at the Seminole Match-Up.
Live scoring for the event can be found at www.golfstat.com and you can follow @LadyVol_Golf on twitter for updates.
Greystone Golf and Country Club will be the annual site of the SEC Women's Golf Championship for the next four years (2013-2016). Admission for the event is free to the public.
Last Go Around for Senior DuoThe senior duo of Sara Monberg and Erica Popson enter their final SEC Championship of their Lady Vol careers.
Popson won the SEC individual championship her sophomore year, and was runner-up her freshman season.
"I feel like I'm going in with some experience but to win as a team is so much more special," Popson said. "It's my last go at it and my last run at it. I think we have a very talented and special team. We just need to have the goal of winning, competing hard and just laying it all out there on the line and whatever happens, happens. Both individually and as a team goal, I'd love to see two rings come home with us."
The Davenport, Fla., native is ranked fifth in the league heading into this weekend's tournament, holding a 72.58 stroke average through her senior campaign. Her lowest round came in the Cougar Classic where she carded a 4-under par 68 in the final round.
Monberg has played in every tournament during her time at UT, a feat that few Lady Vols can add to their accomplishments.
"I'm excited that we're going into this tournament and I'm sad because it's my last one," Monberg said. "It's been a great journey. I think the team has had two good weeks of practice and time to relax. I think that we all are ready to play good. We are all ready to shoot some scores and I don't see why it can't be this week. I hope I can go out and relax and enjoy it and play some good golf."
Spring Weather WoesThe Lady Vols have had to deal with Mother Nature the last few months, cobut finally caught a break leading up to the conference championship.
"This week has been a really hard, good week of practice," Pavon said. "We've finally had some good weather so that's been exciting. All the spring has really been a struggle with the bad weather. It's hard be as detailed as you want to be at practice. We're really excited that it's warmed up and it's nice so we can get done a few more things that we needed to do."
Tennessee has never won an SEC Team Championship, but has finished in the top-5 in eight of the last 11 years.