Oct. 26, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 10 Lady Vol golf team will take on a solid field consisting of 17 teams (eight from the Southeastern Conference) and 10 squads currently listed in the Golfweek national Top-50 this weekend in Auburn, Ala., as part of the Auburn Derby Invitational.
Tennessee enters the weekend fresh off its first tournament win of the season and initial Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship victory in program history (Oct. 13-15). The UT squad picked up the win by defeating then-No. 1 Georgia in a one-hole, sudden death playoff at the Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn. After leading the first two rounds, Auburn finished third.
"We are looking to continue our strong play after winning the Mercedes two weeks ago," Lady Vol Head Coach Judi Pavon said. "We have spent the last few weeks getting some rest after playing back-to-back events and having each player work on her weaknesses to be ready to try to get another victory."
Lady Vol freshman Angela Oh tied for fifth at the UT-hosted event with a five-over-par 218 total and sank the winning putt in the one-hole, sudden death playoff to give Tennessee the win. The Maple Shade, N.J., native will be looking for her fourth top-20 finish this weekend at the Auburn University Club.
Another freshman in the lineup who stunned the crowds in Knoxville is Mexican National team member Diana Cantú. The Monterrey, Mexico, native tied for 21st in the first home tournament of her collegiate career, topping her previous best finish at the end of an event by 16 places.
Junior Marci Turner placed 19th in the field of 81 at Cherokee Country Club, while sophomore Nicole Smith went from an opening-round score of 80 to a final round, 69, to tie for 23rd. Playing in her final Mercedes-Benz tournament, senior Holly Cantwell tied for 33rd with a 229.
Competing as an individual, freshman Ginny Brown closed play in Knoxville in a tie for 66th with a total of 240. Brown will once again compete as an individual in Auburn, Ala.
Tennessee is currently ranked 10th by Golfweek after posting a sterling team record of 51-13 through four tournaments, with four top-10's and three top five finishes.
The 2006 Auburn Derby field consists of 17 teams, only five of which have not already faced the Lady Vols this season (Nebraska, Birmingham-Southern, Baylor, Kansas and Ole Miss). Tennessee currently holds a 15-4-1 record in the fall of 2006 against the 11 squads it competed against earlier in the campaign.
While 10 of the squads are currently ranked in Golfweek magazine's top-50, four individuals are in the top-20. The top-ranked player in the country, Caroline Westrup, will be competing for No. 17 Florida State. No. 10 Sandra Gal of Florida will be matched up with the 2006 Mercedes-Benz individual champion and 16th-ranked Jenny Suh of Alabama. Tennessee's own, Smith, rounds out the top-20 rankings.
"The Derby is hosting a good field," Pavon said. "It's another strong test for us to end the fall season."
Competition will begin Friday at 7:45 a.m. off holes one and 10. Cantwell will be the first Lady Vol on the course with a tee time of 8:30 a.m. The last round of the 54-hole tournament will commence Sunday at 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start.
The Derby will conclude the Lady Vols' fall season.
2006 AUBURN DERBY INVITATIONAL
(Team and current Golfweek ranking)
15. North Carolina
17. Florida State
37. South Carolina
90. Ole Miss
97. Central Florida
98. Mississippi State
2006 TEAM RECORDS VS. AUBURN DERBY INVITATIONAL FIELD
Central Florida (1-0)
Florida State (1-1)
North Carolina (1-2)
Mississippi State (1-0)
South Carolina (1-0)