No matter her mood, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's golf coach Colette Murray ends conversations with a simple word.
"Cheerio," she says.
It's always a pleasant goodbye.
Even after her team did not advance to the NCAA national women's golf tournament West Regional that one word, in her Scottish accent, is comforting to her players.
"I think we're doing the right things, we just need to execute better," Murray said shortly after she and her team landed at the airport in Atlanta, Ga., "It was a privilege for us to play in Washington.
The Mocs returned home Sunday after missing the number to qualify for the national championship. UTC finished in 17th place in a tournament where the top eight teams advance.
"We wanted to go to nationals," Murray said. "I thought we had the team to get there."
But they didn't.
UTC shot 83 over par and missed the cut by more than 30 strokes. The University of Southern California won the tournament at 12 over and the University of Washington was one stroke back.
UTC sophomore Emily McLennan finished in a tie for 68th place with a 236. She topped senior Jordan Britt -- who prepped at GPS and Signal Mountain -- by one stroke.
"We gave her flowers and we gave her hugs," Murray said of Britt. "I'm going to miss her."
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...