Womens golf

Waverly Whiston at the Mercedes-Bens Collegiate Championship at the Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville, TN on Sept. 18, 2018.

The University of Tennessee women’s golf team leads the Starmount Fall Classic by 13 strokes after two rounds of play in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The success on the opening day was built by the contribution of all five golfers on the team. Each of the Lady Vols ended the day in the top 20 of the individual leaderboard. They entered the second round with an eight stroke lead, but they were then able to break the lead open.

In the second round, the team was able to post a score of 291, stretching their lead to end the day to 13 strokes. Although the Lady Vols will enter round three with a sizeable lead, Coach Judi Pavon still sees plenty of room for improvement for her team.

“We made a lot of mistakes today, so we are going to try to clean those up in round three tomorrow,” Pavon said.

The Lady Vols were led by freshman Malia Stovall, playing in her second tournament of the season. She will tee off tomorrow with a one shot lead over Tara Bettle from North Carolina-Greensboro on top of the individual leaderboard.

Stovall was the only player in the field to card two rounds under-par and at one point in the day she sat at 6-under-par. She went on to finish the second round at 3-under-par. When asked about the day that Stovall had, her coach was not surprised.

“Malia has been hitting the ball really well for the last 10 days or so and giving herself a lot of good birdie opportunities,” Pavon said.

The freshman is joined in the top 10 by fellow freshman Mikayla Bardwell and senior Ariana Macioce. After a 2-over round one, Bardwell came back in round two to record her second round of par or better on the season with an even par round of 72.

Heading into the second day of the tournament, Waverly Whiston (+5) is in 12th, sophomore Mariah Smith (+6) is tied for 13th and junior Michaela Williams (+7) is tied for 17th.

When the Lady Vols begin play tomorrow, they will be paired with UNC-Greensboro and UAB, who currently sit in second and third place behind Tennessee.

After finishing the Starmount Classic tomorrow, the team will be off until they take part in the Mary S. Kauth Invitational in San Antonio, Texas beginning October 14th.

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