Nov. 4, 2010
By Zachary Stipe, Media Relations Assistant
PALO ALTO, Calif. - The No. 17-ranked Tennessee Lady Vol golf team will wrap up the fall portion of its 2010-11 schedule at the inaugural Pac-10/SEC Women's Golf Challenge Friday through Sunday in Stanford, Calif.
UT is one of 13 teams ranked in the Golf World/NGCA Coaches Poll Top 25 among the 21-team field that will begin play at 7:30 a.m. PST at the 6,103-yard, par-71 Stanford Golf Course. Live results can be found at golfstat.com.
At their last competition, the Lady Vols broke numerous records en route to sweeping the team and individual titles at the Mercedes-Benz Women's Collegiate Championships from Oct. 8-10 at Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville.
Sophomore Erica Popson notched her first career win on the first hole of a playoff after tallying Tennessee 54-hole records for total (207) and score in relation to par (9-under). Her performance led the Big Orange to a tournament-record 20-stroke win as UT's 15-under 849 also set a new Lady Vol mark.
Popson, along with junior Nathalie Mansson, sophomore Sara Monberg and freshmen Kaitlyn Rohrback and Chessey Thomas will be looking to carry their momentum from the home event victory over to Stanford.
"We are ready to be back in action after a long three-week break, following our win at the Mercedes-Benz," Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon said. "We kept busy working on every area of our games, so hopefully we are still sharp. This is going to be a super strong field with 13 of the top 25 teams in the country. It will be a great way to end the fall and see how we stack up at this point in the season."
Freshman Chessey Thomas Interview
Among that incredible field are the country's top five teams according to the Golf World Poll: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Southern California and No. 4 UCLA.
LSU is also ranked No. 1 by Golfstat and Golfweek and features the country's top-ranked player, Megan McChrystal.
The Lady Vols are no stranger to the rankings either. In addition to earning a rating of No. 17 in the Golf World/NGCA Coaches Poll, UT sits at No. 19 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and No. 21 according to Golfstat.
Popson, who leads the Orange and White with a 71.67 stroke average, ranks first in the country in par five average (4.42) and subpar strokes per round (4.67), and at No. 35 overall.
Monberg (73.22 average) is ranked No. 78, while Mansson (73.56) sits at No. 98.
Thomas has competed in all three tournaments this season and has an average of 75.56. This will be Rohrback's top-five debut. She fired a 4-over 220 as an individual at the Mercedes-Benz.