On Monday, Sept. 4, the Tennessee Women’s Golf Team opened their 26th season as a program at the Ocean Course Invitational in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
The Vols got off to a pretty good start in the two-day invitational, but they finished the tournament in a three-way tie for fifth place.
In the first round, the Vols were led by senior Blakesly Warren and sophomore Micheala Williams, who collected eight birdies between them. The Vols entered round two with a top five spot, but a lackluster showing in the round moved the the Vols into seventh place on the day with a score of 594, +10.
Williams led the Vols throughout the day with a score of 146 (an even par), tied for ninth place overall. Other Vols in the top 30 were Warren and senior Anna Newell.
Warren carded a 148 to tie for 20th place, while Newell shot 149 and finished tied for 25th.
Entering the final round, only 10 strokes separated the Vols from first place.
The final round kicked off early Tuesday morning at 8:15 a.m., but the Vols were not going to be caught sleeping.
To start the third round, the Vols were paired with Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.
To end the day, the Vols finished in a three-way tie for fifth (893, +17) with North Carolina and Ole Miss.
“We handled a tough golf course well and everybody contributed,” head coach Judi Pavon said. “I’m really happy with all of the par or better rounds this week from Micheala, Blakesly and Waverly.”
Newell led the Vols in the invitational with a two-over 221. The senior from Florida carded two rounds that were at or below par, finishing the tournament in 14th place, rising eleven spots from her 25th place finish on day one. It was her best finish since she tied for a 13th place finish in the 3M Augusta Invitational last spring.
“Anna had a good start to the season this week,”Pavon said. “After an okay first round, she played the last 36 holes one-under par.”
Warren finished the tournament tied for 29th place, posting a par in the first round.
Newcomers Waverly Whiston and Ariana Macioce tied each other for 37th after shooting 229 (+10). Whiston shot one-under in the final round and Macioce scored 74.
Freshman Mariah Smith finished in 51st place, carding a 233(+14) over 54 holes.
“Our newcomers did a great job this week,” Pavon said. “Everyone had at least one good round and they all did a good job of fighting for every shot and being really competitive.”
The Vols will tee off again in Knoxville on Sept. 18 hosting a two-day event, the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship.