Hunter Wolcott

Hunter Wolcott at the Puerto Rico Classic in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Today, both Tennessee golf teams played their first of three rounds at the Blessings Collegiate Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas against the rest of the SEC. Each school brings five men and five women, with the top four scores of each counting to the team competition. After 18 holes, the Vols sit at 280 (-8), leading the tournament and the Lady Vols sit at 304 (+16), currently tied for seventh.

“Today was a very solid day,” men’s head coach Brennan Webb said. “All of our guys drove the ball great, minimized their mistakes and made some putts … I'm looking forward to following the same game plan the next two days and seeing how that stacks up.”

Redshirt junior Hunter Wolcott leads both the team and the men’s individual after scoring a 68 (-4). Wolcott finished with six birdies, two of which came on highlight reel-worthy putts from the opposite side of the green on 10 and 18.

Just as stroke behind him, redshirt freshman Bryce Lewis scored a 69 (-3) to grab a share of second place after round one. Lewis birdied four times, all on the back nine with three coming in the final five holes.

Senior Brayden Garrison earned the Vols’ third round with a three-birdie 71 (-1). Rhys Nevin carded the final counted round for team competition with a 72 (E) that had four birdies including one on 18 to get back even. The final player in the fivesome, Spencer Cross, was the only player over par at 75 (+3).

“It was interesting playing with five today,” women’s head coach Judi Pavon said. “The girls have never seen each other play under the pressure of competition, but they handled it really well and everyone did a good job of encouraging each other and just playing their game.”

Junior Mikayla Bardwell was the Lady Vols’ low scoring of the day, shooting 73 (+1) for the day and finishing in a tie for ninth place. She started the day on a tear, birdying four of the opening six holes. A difficult string of holes left her +2 at the turn, but she finished the back nine at -1 to end on a high note.

Making her college debut, freshman Vanessa Gilly was the most consistent Lady Vol. She finished with three birdies to head into the clubhouse with a 74 (+2) to end the day tied for 12th in the individual standings.

Graduate student Micheala Williams managed a third 70’s round with her 77 (+5) score. After starting +5 on the front nine, she was able to play the back nine at even par. Nicole Whiston carded the Lady Vols’ fourth and final round for the team round at 80 (+8). Waverly Whiston also carded an 82 (+10), but her round does not count toward the team score.

Both the Vols and Lady Vols will be back in action for Round two. Below is a recap all ten Tennessee scores as well as team standings.

Men

Individual Scores

1. Hunter Wolcott, -4 (68)

T2. Bryce Lewis, -3 (69)

T11. Brayden Garrison, -1 (71)

T14. Rhys Nevin, E (72)

T33. Spencer Cross, +3 (75)

Team Scores

1. Tennessee, -8 (280)

T2. Kentucky, E (288)

T2. Texas A&M, E (288)

T4. LSU, +3 (291)

T4. Alabama, +3 (291)

6. Arkansas, +5 (293)

7. South Carolina, +8 (296)

8. Vanderbilt, +9 (297)

9. Florida, +12 (300)

10. Auburn, +15 (303)

T11. Ole Miss, +16 (304)

T11. Mississippi State, +16 (304)

13. Georgia, +17 (305)

14. Missouri, +23 (311)

Women

Individual Scores

T9. Mikayla Bardwell, +1 (73)

T12. Vanessa Gilly, +2 (74)

T32. Micheala Williams, +5 (77)

T49. Nicole Whiston, +8 (80)

T57. Waverly Whiston, +10 (82)

Team Scores

1. Arkansas, +1 (289)

2. LSU, +5 (293)

3. Florida, +7 (295)

T-4. Georgia, +12 (300)

T-4. Auburn, +12 (300)

6. Ole Miss, +14 (302)

T-7. South Carolina, +16 (304)

T-7. Tennessee, +16 (304)

T-9. Texas A&M, +19 (307)

T-9. Alabama, +19 (307)

11. Vanderbilt, +26 (314)

12. Kentucky, +26 (314)

13. Mississippi State, +29 (317)

14. Missouri, +42 (330)

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