After notching a fifth place in the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship on September 18, the Tennessee women’s golf team finally returned to the October 1-2 to compete in the Starmount Classic in Greensboro, North Carolina.
This time, they achieved first place out 15 total teams. Head coach Judi Pavon was pleased with the performance, and contributions, of her entire team.
“I think everyone feels really good about the way they contributed to the team winning,” Pavon said. “Just being in the position will help us have confidence moving forward to our next two events.”
The Lady Vols entered the final round on Tuesday with a 13-stroke lead over their opponents after the first two round of play on Monday. They heavily improved upon that mark to secure the tournament victory, ending 35-strokes in front of second place.
Tennessee finished with a final score of 886, which was good for just two-over par after 36 holes of play. The University of North Carolina-Greensboro, the host university, finished in second place with a score of 901, 37-over par.
This win is the 17th overall for Tennessee under Pavon.
A strong performance in the final round was what really helped the Lady Vols card such a large margin of victory. Tennessee finished the fifth hoe of the final round with three birdies, placing them under par for the entire round.
When round play finished, Tennessee had shot six under par for the final round, with a score of 282. It was the lowest score of the entire tournament by nine strokes. They were also 18 strokes ahead of every other team in the final round, posting the lowest score in Tuesday’s action.
Not only did the Lady Vols earn a team victory, but freshman Malia Stovall earned individual honors, finishing first with a score of 211 (-5). She won the field by a margin of six strokes.
“Malia was so impressive today,” Pavon said. “She handled the pressure of having the lead and was so solid.”
Outside of Stovall’s finish, four of the other six Tennessee golfers that travelled finished in the top 10. In individual play, Ariana Macioce carded a score of 221 (+5), which tied for tenth place. At tenth place, as well, with the same score in team play was Micheala Williams.
Meanwhile, both golfing as part of Tennessee’s Team, Mikayla Bardwell and Mariah Smith finished tied for fourth place with a score of 219, three-over par.
The Lady Vols swing into action next on October 14-16 for the Mary S Kauth Invitational, in San Antonio, Texas.