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Two-Day Duke Tournament UT’s Second Fall Test


Early-season golf rankings can be volatile, but Tennessee's stock is rising as the Vols prepare for their second tournament of the fall season.


UT enters this weekend’s Rod Myers Invitational in Durham, N.C., ranked as high as fifth by Golfstat.com, and no worse than 19th in the latest Golf World Division I College Coaches’ Poll. The Vols also are seventh in this week’s Golfweek/Sagarin Ratings.


“That’s a pretty big boost to be in the top 20,” sophomore Marshall Talkington said. “We have a really good team this year and hopefully we will show it and keep moving up in the polls.”


The then-unranked Vols finished second earlier this month at the Carpet Capital Collegiate, defeating five ranked teams in the process. This time, Tennessee is part of an 11-team field that begins play Saturday morning at Duke University Golf Club (Par 72, 7,136 yards).


Teams play 36 holes Saturday, with an 18-hole final round slated for Sunday.


Joining the Vols and Duke are 2010 Rod Myers champion Iowa, along with Baylor, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, East Tennessee State, Georgia Southern, Michigan, North Carolina and Tulsa. The host Blue Devils are ranked 21st in this week’s coaches’ poll, while Baylor and Iowa received votes.


Second Straight

Talkington is back in the UT lineup for a second straight tournament, joining senior Garrick Porteous, juniors Jay Vandeventer and Rick Lamb, and sophomore Danny Keddie. Lamb is making his Vols debut after transferring during the summer from Santa Clara.


“I’ve worked a lot on my game the past two weeks, trying to fine-tune it to get ready,” said Talkington, who tied for 25th at the Carpet Capital in his first-ever turn in the lineup. “I learned a lot from the last tournament and would like to improve on the little parts of my game. Hopefully, I will see that improvement this week.”


Keddie opened his season with a tie for 14th at the Carpet Capital, lamenting what might have been if he had been able to hole a few more putts.


“Once I stepped away from the competition, it was a little easier to see that I played pretty well,” Keddie said. “I’ve worked really hard on my putting and done a few things with my swing. I feel like I’m hitting it good and I’m rolling the ball really well.


“I’m feeling really confident about my putting and just looking forward to holing a few more putts.”


Senior Darren Renwick is competing this week as an individual.


The Vols open play Saturday at 8 a.m. on the No. 1 tee, alongside Duke and North Carolina. Saturday’s weather calls for sunny but windy conditions, with a high of 64 and winds from 15-20 mph.



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