Sophomore Rebecca Watson was named Lady Vol Athlete of the Week on Monday after having a spectacular weekend. Watson carded career-bests and led the Tennessee women’s golf team to its best finish of the season at its home tournament.
The Edinburgh, Scotland native recorded her best round (72), tournament total (219) and finish (15th) of her collegiate career, while leading the Lady Vols to an eighth-place finish at the 2008 Mercedes-Benz Women’s Collegiate Championships this weekend at Fox Den Country Club in Knoxville.
Watson opened the 12th annual home tournament by firing an even-par 72 as UT grabbed a surprise six-shot lead on day one of the tournament. She wrapped up the championships with a three-day total of 72-73-74=219 (+3), seven strokes better than her previous best set at the 2007 Las Vegas Showdown, where she also had recorded her previous top round (73). For the first time in her career, Watson was the top Lady Vol finisher, tying for 15th, as the Orange and White carded 890, its best this season by more than 20 strokes.
Overall, Watson carded three of her top five rounds as a collegian and made seven birdies on the 6,058-yard course.
Making Watson’s performance even more remarkable, her three rounds at the tournament were her first rounds to count for the team score this season. At the Cougar Classic from Sept. 14-16, she posted 82-79-85=246 (+30) as UT’s fifth player. And from Sept. 26-28, she recorded 81-79-83=243 (+27) as Tennessee’s individual representative at the Mason Rudolph tournament.
Watson, however, was able to provide a breakthrough tournament just when the Lady Vols needed it. With UT’s top finisher at the Mason Randolph, Junior Diana Cantu, competing for Mexico at the World Amateur Team Championships, Watson stepped up with three steady rounds to lead the Orange and White to its best finish and best score of the season.
The Lady Vols return to action Nov. 2-4 at the Hooters Match Play in Kissimmee, Fla.