The sixth-ranked Tennessee women’s golf team lowered its team score for the third straight round on the way to a 15th-place finish at the Lady Tar Heel Invitational, which concluded Sunday afternoon at UNC Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C.
A team score of 300 capped off a tournament that saw the Lady Vols fall behind early with an opening-round 321. A solid finish on Sunday, led by junior Holly Cantwell’s 2-over-par 74, still wasn’t enough for the Lady Vols to make a charge in the 18-team field.
With a three-round total of 928, UT finished two strokes behind tournament host North Carolina and 67 shots off the pace set by champion Duke, which shot a final-round 279 to pull away for a 21-stroke victory.
Cantwell, a Morristown native, was a bright spot Sunday for the Lady Vols, making par or better on 15 holes. Cantwell stood at 2-over-par after just three holes, but she settled down to play even the rest of the way. After beginning the tournament with an 80, Cantwell improved her score in two straight rounds. Sunday’s strong effort propelled Cantwell to finish in a 41st-place tie after she began the day tied for 60th.
Sophomore Marci Turner and freshman Nicole Smith carded matching totals of 75. Each recorded 13 pars to go along with a birdie during the final day of action. By doing so, both Turner and Smith bettered their scores for the second straight round. Turner was UT’s top finisher in the 96-player field, snaring a tie for 35th, while Smith earned a share of 54th place.
Golda Johansson entered the clubhouse with a 76 for the second straight round. The senior used 10 pars to go along with three birdies to close out the event. Johansson’s tournament total of 232 placed her in a tie for 41st with Cantwell.
Tennessee finished fifth among the six SEC teams in the field, topping only Kentucky, which tied for 16th with Texas at 938. Auburn was second, while Vanderbilt was third. South Carolina tied for ninth and LSU tied for 12th.