Womens golf

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

The Tennessee women’s golf team made program history at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship on Tuesday.

The Lady Vols set a new school record by carding the lowest round of golf in program history with a round of 274 (-10) to complete the tournament. The score was two scores lower than the previous school record set in 2015 at the NCAA San Antonio Regional and in 2019 at the Florida Atlantic University Winter Cup.

“We were really nervous yesterday because we wanted to play well,” Tennessee head coach Judi Pavon said. “We got off to a bad start so we were never able to settle down. Today, they went out to just play more relaxed and put on a good show for everyone who works so hard to put on the event.”

The score wasn’t just a program first, it also marked the lowest in the history of the tournament itself, beating out Iowa State’s 277 score set back in 2015.

Because of the performance, the Lady Vols jumped four other teams on the final day of the tournament, finishing fourth overall on the team leaderboard.

Impressively, every player in Tennessee’s lineup was par or better in Tuesday’s final round, with sophomore Mikayla Bradwell setting a career low 67 (-4).

Following a bogey on her second hole of the final round, Bradwell reached under par on the back nine as she was 5-under during that stretch, tallying three birdies and an eagle.

Bradwell moved up 22 spots on the leaderboard, finishing in the top 20 thanks to her showing in the final round. The score of 67 was tied for the 14th lowest in tournament history and the second lowest score in the event this year.

Individually, freshman Nicole Whiston finished in the top 10, thanks to a low score of 69 (-2). That score was the lowest of any Lady Vol at the event.

Through six rounds this season, Whiston has shot 73 or better in each of those rounds, and has notched five rounds of par or better. Her Tuesday round was the first time in her UT career that she had scored in the 60s.

“Nicole (Whiston) is a very talented and smart golfer,” Pavon said. “She really doesn’t have any big weaknesses and is playing with a lot of confidence. She has been great for us to count on through these first two tournaments.”

Tennessee finished the event with four players in the top 25, as Mariah Smith tied for the No. 20 spot as an individual, while Malia Stovall tied for No. 25 after moving up 13 spots in the final round.

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