Lady Vol golfer is SEC's best

Lady Vol freshman golfer Violeta Retamoza has earned the top spot in the SEC Top 40, based on stroke average with a 73.13, in the final fall season Top-40 release.

After becoming the first Lady Vol golfer to capture two tournament medals in a single season (the Lady Kat Invitational and the Auburn Tiger Derby), Retamoza was also chosen as the Lady Vol Athlete of the Week for the first time in her career in a vote taken by the media relations staff.

The Aguascalientes, Mexico native also tied former UT player Katharina Larsson for the most tourney medals by a Lady Vol golfer after defeating Auburn's Celeste Troche in a playoff at the Tiger Derby. She blew away the rest of the competition over the last two days of the tournament with a pair of under-par rounds (70, 67) to come-from-behind after tying for 21st after the first round.

Her three-day total (74-70-67) of 211 is the second-best 54-hole total in UT history. That performance, along with the quality of competition against which it occurred, vaulted Retamoza 20 slots into fourth-place in the nation, based on the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index ratings.

Jessica Shepley (Oakville, Ontario) placed sixth with a 74.09 scoring average, while Golda Johansson (Lund, Sweden) earned Top-20 spot with a 75.73 stroke average to place 19th. Rounding out the UT presence, Mary Jan Fernandez (Henderson, Nev.) collected a 76.82 stroke average to finish 30th. The team is tied with Auburn and Arkansas for most tournament titles and is the third best team in stroke average (301.1) behind Auburn's 297.8 and Vanderbilt's 298.3.

The No. 8 Lady Vol golf squad opens up its spring season Feb. 10-12, 2003 in Los Angeles, Calif., at the Regional Challenge hosted by The Ohio State University.

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