Sept. 19, 2013
On Wednesday evening, the Tennessee women's golf team grabbed some spray paint cans and set off into the Knoxville night.
Their mission: Paint the Rock
"I've painted the Rock before but none of the other girls had so it worked out great," senior Chessey Thomas said. "We all have pride in the traditions of our school and painting the rock is definitely one."
The Lady Vols are preparing for this weekend's 17th edition of the Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville Championship. The tournament will be held at the Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn. 2013 Mercedes-Benz Tournament Central
"It was AJ's idea and we encouraged her to run with it," Pavon said. "It's a fun tradition at UT and most of the girls had never painted the Rock before. It's also a good way to let the UT community know we are competing this weekend."
Fans can catch all the Lady Vol action this weekend at the Cherokee Country Club as admission to the tournament is free.
The ladies tagged the Rock with each of their names, the @LadyVol_Golf twitter account and the phrase "Defend Our Turf", which they will use as a social media hashtag during the Mercedes-Benz Tournament.
For some of the Lady Vols, it was their first time painting the Rock. All had heard about the experience and were very much looking forward to getting in on the action.
"My first experience painting the Rock was fun," freshman Hannah Pietila said. "It was cool to be a part of the big tradition that Tennessee has."
About the Rock: Unearthed in the 1960s, the Rock soon thereafter became a "canvas" for student messages. For years the university sandblasted away the messages but eventually deferred to students' artistic endeavors. The Daily Beacon has editorialized: "Originally a smaller rock, The Rock has grown in prestige and size while thousands of coats of paint have been thrown on its jagged face. Really, its function is as an open forum for students."
Fans can keep up with all the tournament happenings by following @LadyVol_Golf on Twitter.