Christopher, a senior at Houston High School, was one of 25 nominees for the 2022-23 USA Today National Girls Golfer of the Year. She was named the 2022 Female High School Golfer of the Year by the Daily Memphian and was a member of the Tennessee Sports Writer Association 2022 Class AA All-State Team.
“Sophie is an excellent student and a super talented golfer who is looking forward to representing our program in the best possible way,” said Tennessee head coach Diana Cantú. “I look forward to seeing her continue to grow and mature as a player during her time as a Lady Vol.”
A four-time Region 8 Class AA individual champion, Christopher has won eight tournaments during her time at Houston High School. Competing in Junior Golf, she has also recently won the SNEDS Elite Championship at both Ooltewah and Greystone, as well as the SNEDS Open at Olive Branch.
“I’m beyond excited for the opportunity to continue to do what I love and work hard to be the best I could possibly be,” said Christopher, the daughter of Tim and Sheri Christopher. “With such amazing coaches, great girls and an unbeatable school atmosphere I’m so excited for what the next four years have to bring.”
Joining her next season on Rocky Top is Kyra van Kan, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, who has represented her country at international tournaments in Egypt, Japan, Scotland, USA, Uganda and Indonesia.
Like Christopher, van Kan has already accumulated plenty of hardware early in her golf career. A three-time finalist in the South Africa Women’s Amateur, van Kan won the tournament in February 2023. She was also the leading amateur at the South Africa Women’s Investec Open.
“I am very excited to have Kyra join our Lady Vol Golf family,” said Cantú, who is amid her third season leading the Lady Vols. “She has a ton of competitive experience and has accomplished a lot in a short career. She is determined and doesn’t stop until she reaches her goals, which has led to a lot of success for her both in her country of South Africa, but also at the international level.”
Van Kan has also collected victories at the All-Africa Individual Championship and the South Africa Girls Rose Bowl Championship, which she won by a 13-stroke margin.