The No. 13 Tennessee Lady Vol golf team will be making its fourth consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championship Tournament (seventh overall) starting on Tuesday. The 72-hole tourney features 24 of the nation’s best teams, 21 of which are ranked in the top 25 by Golfweek.
Head Coach Judi Pavon is taking her most experienced squad to Daytona Beach, Fla., in senior Holly Cantwell, junior Marci Turner, sophomore Nicole Smith and freshmen Angela Oh and Diana Cantú. The five have been successful in the postseason, having placed third in the Southeastern Conference Championship on April 22, and seventh at the NCAA Central Regional Tournament on May 12.
“We are excited to be at our fourth straight NCAA Championship,” Pavon said. “This year feels a little different than the past. Instead of being happy to be here, we are really focused on playing well.
“Our goal at Regionals was to advance to the Championship, so we are not feeling terrible about our performance. However, it did give us the opportunity to learn from some physical as well as mental mistakes.”
Tennessee is familiar with the par-72 LPGA International Legends Course in Daytona Beach, Fla., as they played there in the Golf Daytona Beach Fall Preview in September. Smith claimed the individual title for the first time in her career with a five-under-par 211 total. Turner tied for 25th, Cantú for 49th, Oh for 67th, and Cantwell for 76th. UT placed eighth.
“I think this course is a good test for the Championship,” Pavon said. “I feel like we have a good chance to play well because we have a good ball-striking team. We don't generally hit the ball out of play very often and that will be a help on this course.
“I expect each player to play smart, know when to be aggressive and when a conservative shot is better, and to put everything they have into every shot for the next four days.”
The tournament will begin on Tuesday at 8 a.m. E.T. The Lady Vols will be paired with Alabama and Pepperdine and tee off beginning at 8:10 a.m. On Wednesday, UT will tee off at 12:20 p.m. Thursday and Friday’s pairings and tee times will be determined based on placements after the first two rounds. Live scoring will be available on www.utladyvols.com.
Story Courtesy: UT Lady Vols Sports Information