Vanderbilt Women's Golf Finishes Fifth in the SEC Tournament 4/20/03
Four Commodores Finish in the Top 20

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Strong individual efforts by the Vanderbilt University women's golf team resulted in a fifth place finish Sunday at the 2003 SEC Championship on the University of Kentucky's "Big Blue" Course. Vanderbilt's top four players all finished in the top 20, a feat equalled by only one other participant, the University of Florida which finished second.

Junior Courtney Wood rode a 78 (6-over) to a 13th place finish at 12-over for the tournament. Senior Nikki Cutler was 14th (13-over), freshman May Wood was 15th (14-over) and junior Sarah Jacobs was tied for 18th (16-over). Sophomore Joni Gossett, finished tied for 33rd following a final-round 82. Cutler and freshman May Wood each shot final round 77s (5-over), the best score of the day for the Commodores.

"We did a lot of good things," coach Martha Freitag said. "Our effort was there. We played better golf than what our score indicates. "I still think we're capable of winning a national championship."

In difficult scoring conditions the Commodores recorded a final round 312 (23-over par), their highest score of the event but tied for the day's third best round. Ten of the 12 teams posted their biggest numbers on the final day of play. VU finished 55-over, five strokes behind fourth-place South Carolina and 16 shots behind champion Auburn, which rallied from third place for the title.

"This was a difficult day of golf," Freitag said. "It was super windy, and the toughest holes are the last six of the course. We played 14-15 good holes each day but we have to play all 18."

The Commodores have finished among the top 10 in all nine events they have entered during the 2002-03 season, and seventh or better in each of the last six.

Next they will take part in an NCAA Regional, May 8-10, in an attempt to qualify for the NCAA Championship for the second straight year. Seedings and regional brackets are yet to be determined.

"This is a tough time for us right now because we're in the middle of finals and a lot of projects are due," Freitag said. "Fortunately we'll be out of school before regionals begin. ... We just want to get home now, get through finals and rest and have a couple good weeks of practice. "We need to take a look at the good golf we played and not the bad holes. We're in a good place. Our best golf is still ahead of us."


Day 2

Vanderbilt Women's Golf SEC Results Following Round 2 4/19/03

LEXINGTON, Kentucky - The Vanderbilt University women's golf team moved up both the team and individual leader boards Saturday in the second round of the Southeastern Conference Championship at the University of Kentucky's "Big Blue" Course.

Four of the five Commodores, led by junior Courtney Wood, improved their individual standing as the team moved into fifth place with a 301, tied for the third-best score of the day. The Commodores' two-day total is 607 (31-over) on the 6,153-yard, Par 72 layout, which is 15 shots off the lead shared by the University of Florida and the University of Tennessee with one round remaining. VU is four shots behind the University of South Carlina for fourth.

"We have to focus on shooting a great round (today) and take care of business, and we'll see what happens," coach Martha Freitag said, who was named SEC Coach of the Year earlier in the day.

Courtney Wood shot her second consecutive 75 (3-over) and moved into a tie for 14th place. She started the day tied for 15th. The Commodores' big mover was senior Nikki Cutler, who shot 73 (1-over) and jumped from a tie for 37th into a three-way tie for 17th that also includes VU junior Sarah Jacobs. Cutler made two birdies and three bogies after she shot 79 in the opening round. Jacobs shot her second consecutive 76 and moved up from a tie for 20th. Freshman May Wood started and finished the round tied for 20th. Her second-round score was 77. Sophomore Joni Gossett rounded out the lineup with a 78 as she rose from 42nd place into a tie for 34th.

Two-time defending champion Kristy McPherson of South Carolina leads in the medalist competition at 5-under.

The Commodores' undoing in the second round was the back nine as they were a collective 2-under on the front but 21-over on the final nine holes. Jacobs had three birdies in the first six holes as she made an early run but was 6-over on the final four.

"We had a good round going but we just didn't finish it," Freitag said. "The back nine is much tougher because the wind is blowing in late in the day. We really played a ton of good golf but we have to play all 18 holes."

Vanderbilt will be among the first groups off the No. 1 tee in Sunday's final round, which begins 9 a.m. (EDT).

Day 1

Commodore Golfers in Seventh Place at SEC Tournament Following First Round 4/18/03

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY - The Vanderbilt Commodores shot a 307 and are in seventh place following first round action of the Southeastern Conference Golf Tournament. The Commodores are 15 shots out of first place held by Tennessee (291). South Carolina is second (295), followed by Florida (296), Arkansas (297), Auburn (299), and Georgia (299). The SEC Tournament is being held at the University Club of Kentucky (6,153 yards, Par 72).

"We have to find a way to be better," head coach Martha Freitag said. "Our effort is there and we have the ability and the talent, we just have to find a way to eliminate the mistakes."

Junior Courtney Wood shot a team-best score for the day with a 75 (+3) and is tied for 15th. Freshman May Wood and junior Sarah Jacobs each shot a 76 (+4) and are tied for 20th place. Senior Nicki Cutler is tied for 37th with a round of 79 (+7), followed by sophomore Joni Gossett in 42nd place with an 8-over-par 80.

"I am confident that this group will make a great comeback tomorrow and we can show everyone what we are made of," Freitag added.

Second round action begins tomorrow at 9 am ET. Two-time defending champion Kristy McPherson of South Carolina is the individual leader after shooting a 68 (-4) .

For live stats throughout the tournament, visit http://www.golfstatresults.com/public/index.cfm?tournament_id=275

To View Each Player's Score Card: Click here


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