KNOXVILLE, TN (utladyvols.com) -- Tennessee Lady Vol sophomore Erica Popson is slated as the No. 4 amateur golfer in the world in the latest World Amateur Golf Rankings.
The 2011 SEC Champion, Popson is the highest ranked American and is behind only Mitsuki Katahira, of Japan, and Cecilia Cho and Lydia Ko of New Zealand, according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking system.
The Women's World Amateur Golf Ranking system ranks the top female amateur golfers in the world on the basis of their average performance in Counting Events over a rolling cycle of the previous 52 weeks.
Popson has placed first in three consecutive tournaments this season, dating back to the Bryan National Collegiate from March 25-27 in Brown's Summitt, N.C. She tied for first with teammate Nathalie Mansson the next weekend at the Rebel Intercollegiate in Oxford, Miss.
At the conference tournament in Auburn, Ala., from April 15-17, the Davenport, Fla., native avenged her runner-up performance from a year before by claiming medalist honors by one stroke over the nation's No. 1-ranked collegiate player, Marta Silva, of Georgia.
In those last three tournaments, she has carried a 71.44 stroke average and gone under par in five of nine rounds.
Three other SEC golfers are ranked in the WAGR top 10: Arkansas freshman Emily Tubert (No. 5), LSU senior Megan McChrystal (No. 6) and Silva (No. 7).
The Lady Vols return to action from May 5-7 at an NCAA Regional site, which will be announced on Monday at 5 p.m.