From left to right: Christine Wolf, Katie Taylor, Kayla Stewart, Maria Salinas, Emma de Groot, Maju Loza and Moa Duf.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- The Southern Conference Women’s Golf Championship is fast approaching for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In just its second year of competition, Chattanooga enters as one of the favorites in the event that tees off Sunday, April 19, and ends Tuesday, April 21, in Hilton Head, S.C.
The Lady Mocs are the top-ranked team in the SoCon in the Golweek/Sagarin Ratings Index at 46, while Furman is No. 47 and College of Charleston, No. 49. In the Golfstat rankings, Furman leads the way at No. 46 with the Lady Mocs at No. 48 and Charleston No. 50.
So it shapes up as a very tight race as the teams converge on Moss Creek Golf Club. The Lady Mocs enter on an upswing.
Chattanooga has placed in the top three in three of its last four tournaments with a win at the Eagle Landing Invitational (Mar. 9-10), a second-place finish at home in the Lady Mocs Intercollegiate (Apr. 6-7) and third-place at the John/Kirk Panther Intercollegiate (Mar. 30-31).
For the year, the Lady Mocs are 8-2 against Southern Conference teams. Chattanooga is 2-2 in head-to-head matchups with Furman, with the Lady Paladins holding an eight-stroke advantage. Overall, the Lady Mocs have a 227-stroke advantage over conference opponents for the year which includes Furman, Elon, UNC Greensboro, Western Carolina and Wofford.
Sophomore Emma de Groot enters as the Lady Mocs scoring leader at 75.6 strokes per round followed by freshman Maria Salinas at 75.8. The hot golfer right now is freshman Moa Duf. Her scoring average is 77.9, but over her last four events, Duf is averaging 76.4, which includes the 86 in the lone round in horrendous conditions at the Lady Mocs Intercollegiate where the average score was 87.53.
The remainder of the lineup includes 2008 All-Conference selection Christine Wolf and freshman Maria Juliana Loza. Both average a little over 77 strokes per round.
WHO: Christine Wolf. Christine was the low finisher for the Lady Mocs in last year’s SoCon tournament finishing tied for third.
WHAT: Southern Conference Championship (54 Holes – 18 per day)
WHEN: Sunday-Tuesday, April 19-21
WHERE: Moss Creek Golf Club; Hilton Head, S.C. – Par 72, 6,050 yards – Live Scoring: http://www.golfstatresults.com/public/index.cfm?tournament_id=1485
HOW: Entering the SoCon Tournament, Chattanooga is highest ranked team in the league in the Golfweek/Sagarin Ratings Index at No. 46 followed by Furman (47), College of Charleston (49) and Elon (89).
QUOTABLE: “This is what we have been working towards. A win at conference means an automatic bid into regionals.” – Colette Murray.
LINEUP (Scoring Avg.): Emma de Groot (75.6), Moa Duf (77.9), Maria Salinas (75.8), Maria Juliana Loza (77.2), Christine Wolf (77.4).
THE FIELD (Golfstat): (195) Appalachian State, (50) College of Charleston, (48) Chattanooga, (226) The Citadel, (90) Elon, (46) Furman, (96) UNC Greensboro, (112) Samford, (84) Western Carolina, (141) Wofford.