BRYAN, Texas – The No. 9-ranked Tennessee Lady Vol golf team will be back on the Traditions Club Golf Course at 7:30 a.m. CT on Saturday morning to wrap up the final few holes of a suspended round three, after darkness halted play at the 2011 NCAA Golf Championships late Friday.
Tennessee heads into the final day of the national tournament in 11th-place at 36-over-par after a partial third-round marked by the threat of storms and a nearly-two-hour lightning delay.
Junior Nathalie Mansson and sophomores Erica Popson and Sara Monberg will wrap up the last few holes of round three beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Tennessee will either begin the final round at approximately 9:30 a.m. or after noon on Saturday.
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“It’s good they halted play,” Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon said. “We knew after the delay that we likely would not get done today. No. 9 is a really tough hole, so playing it in the morning will benefit us rather than trying to play it tonight. We didn’t quite have the day we needed to have, so we need to finish this third round strong. We’re really close to fourth-place and it’s really bunched up. We need to move up tomorrow.”
No. 2 UCLA leads the tournament at 13-over-par with No. 4 Purdue (+19) and No. 7 LSU (+26) in second and third, respectively. All three teams will be on the course early Saturday with the Lady Vols.
At 5-under-par, Bruin Tiffany Lua leads the individual race, three strokes ahead of Georgia’s Marta Silva and LSU’s Austin Ernst.
Freshmen Kaitlyn Rohrback and Chessey Thomas were the only Lady Vols to complete round three before the darkness suspension. Rohrback finished with a 78, while Thomas carded an 84.
Before any of the Lady Vols had even made the turn on Friday, the tournament was delayed because of lightning. The air horn sounded at 3:29 p.m. CT and play did not resume until 5:20 p.m. – a delay of 1:51. UT was +3 at the time of the delay with players scattered on the back nine.
The Lady Vols got off to a fast start, shooting 2-under-par as a team on their first hole, the 519-yard par-5 No. 10. After Rohrback made par, Mansson drilled a 10-foot birdie putt before Popson followed by making a 7-footer that broke right. Monberg nearly nabbed a third straight birdie for the Big Orange, but her eight-footer lipped out.
After the delay, UT struggled, however Popson and Monberg both birdied No. 18.
Popson’s birdie was especially impressive. The Davenport, Fla., native hit her second shot on the par-5, 447-yard hole over the green and into a bunker. She pitched out about 12-feet from the hole and made the putt for birdie. She is even-par with Nos. 8 and 9 left to play in round three. For the tournament, she and Monberg are tied for 21st at 5-over.
Monberg is 2-over-par with three holes to complete early Saturday morning before the start of round four.
Mansson is 6-over-par with just No. 9 to wrap-up. Overall, the two-time All-American is 11-over-par and tied-for-58th.
Rohrback has a three-day total of 75-78-78=231 (+15) and is tied for 75th. Through 54 holes, Thomas is in a tie for 119th-place with an 80-81-84=245 (+29).