Womens golf

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

The Tennessee Lady Vols golf team was the only team to shoot under-par en route to a victory over the seven-team field this past weekend at the FAU Winter Warm Up. The team won by 41 strokes, the largest margin of victory in program history.

Mariah Smith was a standout for the Lady Vols, recording a collegiate low 67 in the first round, and ended the weekend as the 7-under-par winner. She was the clubhouse leader after the first day. This is the sophomore’s first collegiate tournament win.

“Mariah is hitting the ball really well,” head coach Judi Pavon said, “… She knew she would be battling her teammates today and did a good job staying calm and executing shots.”

Micheala Williams performed as close to Smith as anyone in the field. After her first round 69, she came in to the clubhouse in second place. She held the only eagle from the course in the first round. She ended the tournament one shot off the lead at 138. She was the only player to hit two rounds in the 60s this weekend.

Waverly Winston finished one shot off the lead in a tie for second with Williams this weekend. She recorded the lowest score in the second round, resulting in a season-low round of 68. The second day helped give her the best finish she has had at the collegiate level.

Tennessee was up by 27 strokes heading in to the final round. The Lady Vols would go on to shoot a 559 as a team for the tournament on the way to the 41 stroke victory. The next closest team was the Florida Atlantic Lady Owls, who finished +24 through the course in the two days.

“It feels great to get a win, to start the spring season (with a win), but more importantly it is great to see the girls play so well this early in the season… we saw some great things out there,” Pavon said.

The Lady Vols will pack their bags again this weekend as they head for Westbrook Invitational in Arizona. This tournament will be 54 holes. Last year, Oklahoma walked away the winner at -25 as a team through three days.

This will be the second time Tennessee has competed in this tournament and the first since 2015. The Lady Vols will look to use the momentum from Florida in Arizona, as there are twice as many teams competing at the Westbrook Invitational.

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