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Tuesday September 8, 2009W. Golf Takes Home Fourth Place at Hooters Match Play Championship

Daytona Beach, Fla.


The top-seeded UF women’s golf team was defeated by Virginia, 4-1, to finish in fourth place in the Hooters Match Play Championship, their first event of the 2009 fall schedule. The Gators finished first in the qualifying round of stroke play and went on to defeat Chattanooga, 3-2, but fell to LSU, 3-2, on Monday.


The Tigers rolled on to take first place in the event after downing Auburn, 3-1-1.


“I think the most important is that Virginia played really well today,” head coach Jan Dowling said. “They made a lot of great putts at key times, but our golfers stayed patient and kept fighting. Overall, we can take a lot of positives out of this week. It’s a little disappointing to finish where we did after having such a strong start, but the team learned a lot and we will take that into our next tournament.”


Sophomore Evan Jensen (Belleair, Fla.) claimed the lone victory for the Gators, defeating Brittany Altomare, 4 and 2. The match went back and forth, with each golfer up by one for two holes. Once the pair arrived at the ninth hole, the match belonged to Jensen as she cruised to a four-hole lead. The sophomore finished the event with a 2-1 record.


Two Florida golfers came up short in close, hard-fought matches. After winning both of her matches on Sunday, sophomore Andrea Watts (Bradenton, Fla.) was edged out by Nicole Agnello, 1 up. After being all-square through the first four holes, Agnello got on the board on the fifth, but her lead never exceeded two holes.


“Andrea played strong,” Dowling added. “She never let the match get too far away from her.”


In her first event for the Orange and Blue, freshman Mia Piccio (Bacolod City, Phillipines) made an impression on her coach, after earning a win against LSU and being narrowly defeated by Eleana Collins, 2 up. At one point, Piccio was down by four holes, and rallied to bring the match back within two. 


“Mia played well the whole time,” Dowling said. “Her opponent made a couple of birdies but she really fought the entire time. She hit a bunch of great putts that just couldn’t make their way in the hole.”


Sophomore Marika Lendl (Bradenton, Fla.) was edged out by Whitney Neuhauser, 2 and 1, and posted a 1-2 record this week. Freshman Amelia Lewis (Jacksonville, Fla.) fell to Calle Nielson, 7 and 6.


The Gators will travel to Nashville, Tenn. on Sept. 25-27 for the Mason Rudolph Women’s Championships. Check or for live scoring.


No. 7 Virginia def. No. 1 Florida, 4-1

Evan Jensen (UF) def. Brittany Altomare, 4 and 2

Whitney Neuhauser def. Marika Lendl (UF), 2 and 1

Calle Nielson def. Amelia Lewis (UF), 7 and 6

Nicole Agnello def. Andrea Watts (UF), 1 up

Eleana Collins def. Mia Piccio (UF), 2 up




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