Staff Report: SPORTS

The Tennessee women’s golf team finished its regular season dose of tournaments on Saturday, notching a seventh-place finish at the Bryan Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. This was the 16th time since its initial appearance in 1998 that Tennessee participated in this event.

Facing off against six top-25 programs along with 10 teams ranked within the top 40, Tennessee had its work cut out for it. Inclement weather forced the tournament to be condensed into a two-day schedule.

Led by Anna Newell, Tennessee finished with a total score of 906 (+42), including a score of 315 during the final round. Despite the finish, head coach Judi Pavon feels that extenuating circumstances played a role in the weekend’s results.

“The weather conditions were terrible today,” Pavon said. “It was cold, windy and raining. We played some of the harder holes very well, but when we got past them, we lost some focus and made some bogeys where we really needed pars in order to compete today.”

Newell tallied scores of 73 and 75, respectively, during Friday’s opening round. She notched a score of 77 in the final, claiming her fifth finish inside the top-25 this season.

Blakesly Warren and Waverly Whiston tied for 21st and 29th place, each recording a score of 79 on Saturday while Michaela Williams tied for 32nd place, shooting 228 during the tournament.

Haley Wagner carded a final score of 247, placing 86th overall as an individual. The Lady Vols finished with five players within the top 100 individually.

No. 21-ranked Wake Forest claimed the tournament championship following a shooting performance of 888 (+24), while no. 7 Furman placed second with a score of 893 (+29).

It was Jennifer Kupcho of the Demon Deacons that would claim medalist honors, shooting 215 (-1) overall, her second individual win of the year. Notable SEC opponent No. 22 Auburn and No. 24 North Carolina tied for third place after shooting 33-over-par (897) across two rounds.

Tennessee will start SEC Championship play on Wednesday, April 18 at Greystone’s Legacy Course in Birmingham, Alabama. The tournament will consist of three rounds of stroke action before the final eight teams are selected for match play.

Having participated in five events as a team since play resumed in February, the Lady Vols have claimed a top-10 finish twice and ended on the outer cusps of that feat on two other occasions.

“We leave for the SEC Championship in eight days, and this week was a step in the right direction,” Pavon said. “Anna had a nice finish, and Waverly had another top-25 placement. It looks like we will have some good weather in Knoxville, so we will work on some putting and wedges to be ready for the SEC.”

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