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Sunday April 20, 2008No. 5 UF Women's Golf Claims Eighth SEC Championship, First Since 1995

LOUDON, Tenn. -

For the eighth time in program history and the first time since 1995, the University of Florida women’s golf team is the champion of the Southeastern Conference. The fifth-ranked Lady Gators posted a tournament-low 284 to claim the title by a remarkable 17 shots and complete the wire-to-wire finish on Sunday at the Tennessee National Golf Club.

“We have worked so hard and a lot of things came together for us,” UF head coach Jill Briles-Hinton said. “The girls are very talented and played well. Just seeing the girls so excited after we won and holding the trophy above their heads is such a special feeling.”

Florida finished the tournament at 10-over 874 to capture its first conference crown in 13 years. The Lady Gators ran away from the 12-team field, including No. 12 Arkansas, who finished second at 27-over 891. The 17-shot margin of victory was the largest this decade at the SEC Championship and the largest since Georgia won the title by 18 strokes in 1999.

The Bulldogs finished third on Sunday with a total of 903 (+39). Auburn was fourth at 910 (+46) and South Carolina was fifth at 915 (+51).

Florida’s final-round 4-under 284 was the only under-par round of the tournament and tied for the fourth-lowest round in school history. The 2008 Lady Gators now own four of the top six team rounds in program history. Florida’s second-round 293 was the next lowest round of the weekend by any team.

The SEC Championship is the first in the Jill Briles-Hinton era. Florida’s other league titles came in 1981-82, 1984, 1986-87, 1991 and 1995. The eight league titles rank as the second-most in SEC history, trailing only Georgia’s 11.

The win was the fourth of the season for UF, but none were bigger than Sunday’s achievement. After taking second at last year’s SEC Championship, Briles-Hinton said the squad used that finish as motivation heading into the weekend.

 

It's a big relief (to win) because this team and this group just kept preserving through tough times and through their four years," Briles-Hinton said. "They matured and became tougher and stronger so it's rewarding, very rewarding."

That maturity showed as Florida maintained its poise after bringing a five-shot lead into championship Sunday.


“I am sure there were nerves, but they were very confident with themselves,” Briles-Hinton said. “They knew they could do it. We couldn’t worry about anyone else. We had to play our own game and stay committed and focus.”


Freshman Hannah Yun (Brandeton, Fla.) went head-to-head with defending NCAA champion Stacy Lewis of Arkansas on Sunday. Yun captured runner-up honors with a final-round 72 that put her at 1-under 215 overall, one shot back of Lewis.

 

The 16-year-old Yun was tied with Lewis heading to the 16th hole before taking a bogey on the par-4. Lewis ended up with an even-par round and won the individual medal for the second time in her career with the 2-under 214 score.

However, Yun’s play over the weekend was an inspiring season-best effort. The freshman earned her career-best finish, besting her previous mark of a tie for fourth at the Lady Gator Invitational on Feb. 24. The second-place showing was also the best by a Florida golfer at the SEC Championship since Aimee Cho won the event in 2003.

Yun and Lewis were the only two players under par for the tournament. Yun registered eight birdies on the weekend and the led the field in par-5 scoring at 4.67 (-4) while ranking second in par-4 scoring at 3.97 (-1). 

Two other Lady Gators placed in the individual top 10. Senior Tiffany Chudy (Miramar, Fla.) claimed sole possession of sixth place following a 4-over 76 that put her at 4-over 220 (72-72-76) for the tournament. Chudy’s sixth-place showing was the highest finish of her career at the SEC Championship. She led the 60-player field in par-3 scoring at 2.83 (-2) and tied for the tournament lead in birdies with 10.

 

Senior Whitney Myers (East Berlin, Pa.) and freshman Jessica Yadloczky (Casselberry, Fla.) closed with tournament-low 3-under 69s on Sunday. Only one other 69 was posted all weekend when Lewis did so in Friday’s opening round.

 

Myers tied for seventh place with three other players at 5-over 221 (74-78-69). She earned the third top-10 finish of her career at the SEC Championship and her fifth top-10 placing of the season. Myers played her front nine at 1-under and closed with a 2-under back nine that featured back-to-back birdies in her final two holes.

Yadloczky, one of two UF freshmen in the lineup, vaulted from 22nd to sole possession of 12th place as a result of her 3-under round. She opened with a bogey on her first hole and then proceeded to card four birdies and 13 pars the rest of the way. Her 1-under front nine was coupled with a 2-under back nine as she finished at 7-over 223 (78-76-69).

 

Redshirt junior Ornella Jouven (La Ciotat, France) improved 11 places to a tie for 36th following a 2-over 74. Jouven, who finished at 21-over 237, played her front nine at 1-under highlighted by birdies on holes seven and nine.

Florida will now await a bid to an NCAA Regional, May 8-10, at one of the three designated host sites.
The tournament venues are in Athens, Ga., Sacramento, Calif., and Austin, Texas. The regional tournament leads up to the NCAA Championships, May 20-23, in Albuquerque, N.M.

Final Team Scores

Place

School

Score

1.

Florida

297-293-284=874 (+10)  

2.

Arkansas

297-298-296=891 (+27)      

3.

Georgia   

300-298-305=903 (+39)       

4.

Auburn   

310-309-291=910 (+46)      

5.

South Carolina  

300-319-296=915 (+51)       

6.

LSU   

310-310-300=920 (+56)       

7.

Alabama    

307-307-307=921 (+57)        

8.

Tennessee

316-312-303=931 (+67)        

9.

Vanderbilt    

308-317-310=935 (+71)        

10.

Ole Miss

309-317-313=939 (+75)        

11.

Mississippi State

319-318-315=952 (+88)       

12.

Kentucky  

326-319-308=953 (+89)        

 

Final Individual Top 10

Place

Player (School)

Score

1.

Stacy Lewis (Arkansas)

69-73-72=214 (-2) 

2.

Hannah Yun (Florida)     

73-70-72=215 (-1)     

3.

Benedicte Toumpsin (S. Carolina)      

72-72-72=216 (E)     

T4.

Margaret Shirley (Auburn)        

74-75-70=219 (+3)     

T4.

Dori Carter (Ole Miss)     

71-74-74=219 (+3)    

6.

Tiffany Chudy (Florida)       

72-72-76=220 (+4)    

T7.

Whitney Myers (Florida)       

74-78-69=221 (+5)    

T7.

Candace Schepperle (Auburn)  

74-75-72=221 (+5)    

T7.

Lucy Nunn (Arkansas)    

73-74-74=221 (+5)    

T7.

Krystle Caithness (Georgia)    

71-75-75=221 (+5)    

 

Final Florida Results

Place

Player

Score

2.

Hannah Yun     

73-70-72=215 (-1)      

6.

Tiffany Chudy

72-72-76=220 (+4)   

T7.

Whitney Myers

74-78-69=221 (+5)    

12.

Jessica Yadloczky     

78-76-69=223 (+7)       

T36.

Ornella Jouven     

88-75-74=237 (+21)    

 

 

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