After tying for sixth and leading the Lady Vol golf team to a fourth-place team finish at the 2009 SEC Women’s Golf Championship this past weekend, junior Ginny Brown was named Lady Vol Athlete of the Week on Monday.
Brown fired a career-best 54-hole total of 74-72-71=217 (+4) on the par-71 6,156-yard Cobblestone Park course in Blythewood, S.C., from April 17-19 to earn the first top 10 finish of her career.
The Austin, Texas, native also had the shot of the tournament during Saturday’s second round — a hole-in-one on the 140-yard, par-3 11th hole. She used an 8-iron off the tee and hit the ball over the water before it took one hop and rolled into the hole. It was her second eagle at an SEC tournament, as she holed in from the fairway on the par-4 16th at the 2008 conference championship.
Brown’s spectacular performance ignited Tennessee to a fourth-place finish and its second best score of the season - 295-293-293=881 (+29) at the tournament. At No. 29, UT was the eighth-highest ranked SEC team in the latest Golfstat rankings but defeated No. 8 LSU, No. 14 Georgia, No. 18 Vanderbilt and No. 28 Florida to earn its 14th top-five SEC Championship finish.
Auburn won the team title with a score of 870 (+18), while Georgia freshman Marta Silva captured the individual title with a score of 210 (-3) at the tournament.
This season, Brown has made one of the biggest improvements in Lady Vol history, lowering her season stroke average by over four strokes — from 80.21 in 2007-08 to 76.08 — this season. In addition, she moved 40 places up the leaderboard from the 2008 SEC Championship, where she tied for 46th.
Brown’s previous best finish and best total came at last October’s Mercedes-Benz Women’s Collegiate Championship. She tied for 19th with a three-round total of 69-75-76=220 (+4) at Fox Den Country Club in Knoxville.
She is third on the team in stroke average (76.08), leads the Lady Vols with 63 birdies and has played every round of every tournament this season.
Brown and the rest of the Lady Vol golf team return to action May 7-9 at the NCAA Regional Championship. UT will find out on April 27 if it will be traveling to Columbus, Ohio, Gainesville, Fla., or Tempe, Ariz., for the NCAA Championship qualifier tournament.