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Tuesday February 23, 2010Lendl Sisters Lead W. Golf to Central District Invitational Title

Parrish, Fla.

 

Sisters Marika and Isabelle Lendl (Bradenton, Fla.) led the way for the University of Florida women’s golf team, who earned their first tournament win of the season at the Central District Invitational on Tuesday. The squad had the lowest team total of the entire field for the third-consecutive round with a third-round score of 286 (-2). The Gators finished the event 29 strokes ahead of second place TCU with a final tournament score of 857 (290-281-286, -7).

 

“It was an unbelievable team performance and that’s what I’m most proud of,” said head coach Jan Dowling. “They really came together as a team and I think these past couple days were really good for them to experience. They deserve it. The team played phenomenal and to be five-under after the first day and to come back today and shoot a team score of two-under is impressive. Obviously, this win will help motivate us to work harder in the spring. The team knows that this is the kind of golf we are capable of playing.”

 

After producing the lowest Gator score after day one, Isabelle and her sister Marika kept the race for first place a close one and ultimately finished the tournament in a tie for first, both golfers with 54-hole score of four-under par 212. Isabelle was named the tournament winner after she narrowly defeated Marika in a scorecard playoff, whichever golfer had a lower score in their final nine holes.

 

Even the scorecard playoff was a tight race. Isabelle entered the turn at two-over after making consecutive bogeys on holes three and four, consecutive birdies on holes seven and eight and a double bogey on nine. Marika was one-under after nine holes with a birdie on the eighth hole. After making a bogey on 14 followed by a birdie on 15, Marika made a birdie on 18 to shoot one-under on her final nine holes (two under for the day). Isabelle had a rough start to her back nine holes, making two consecutive bogeys, but responded by making three-straight birdies on 13, 14 and 15. At one-over par heading into her final hole, Isabelle made an eagle, needing only two strokes on the par-four 18th hole. She finished the day at one under, but more importantly, shot three-under par in her final nine holes to win the scorecard playoff.

 

“It was a really tight race and I was fortunate enough to watch both of them play most of today,” Dowling said. “Between the two of them they were seven-under par in the last six holes. I thought they handled the pressure really well and kept their composure. It was one of the most exciting finishes I’ve been fortunate enough to watch.”

 

“We’ve competed against each other before in junior golf so it wasn’t really anything new,” said Isabelle. “Obviously I wanted her to do well but at the same time I wanted to win because I try and view her as a competitor and not my sister when we are out on the course. I really view it as a tie because a scorecard playoff doesn’t mean much but I’m happy to get the win. It feels great.”

 

The Lendl sisters were not the only Gator golfers with strong finishes on Tuesday. Freshman Mia Piccio (Bacolod City, Philippines) had a tournament full of career bests. Not only were her first and third round scores of 72 (E) career lows, her total score of 217 (72-73-72, +1) was a career best and she finished the tournament in a tie for fourth, a career mark.

 

Sophomore Evan Jensen (Belleair, Fla.) also remained in the top-10 after being in fifth following day one. She finished in a tie for seventh with a total score of 218 (71-72-75, +2). Her 54-hole score is below her previous career best of 221, which she made at the 2008 Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge.

 

Junior Jessica Yadloczky (Casselberry, Fla.) had her lowest score of the tournament on Tuesday, carding a one-over 73. Yadloczky improved her score each round and finished in 18th place with a total score of 223 (76-74-73, +7). 

 

The Gators will return to action on March 1-2 at the ACC/SEC Challenge in Statesboro, Ga. Live scoring and official results are available at www.GatorZone.com or www.golfstat.com.

 

Team Scores After Round 3

Place

Team

Score

1

FLORIDA

290-281-286=857 (-7)

2

TCU

295-296-295=886 (+22)

3

Purdue

295-303-291=889 (+25)

4

Michigan State

294-313-288=895 (+31)

T5

LSU

295-303-300=898 (+34)

T5

Texas A&M

295-308-295=898 (+34)

T5

Ohio State

302-303-293=898 (+34)

8

Arkansas

303-293-304=900 (+36)

9

Kent State

306-299-299=904 (+40)

10

Texas

304-302-300=906 (+42)

T11

South Carolina

301-309-305=915 (+51)

T11

Northwestern

302-310-303=915 (+51)

12

Missouri

306-309-304=919 (+55)

13

Notre Dame

310-308-303=921 (+57)

14

Michigan

320-299-304=923 (+59)

 

Individual Scores After Round 3

Place

Team

Score

T1*

Isabelle Lendl (Florida)

74-67-71=212 (-4)

T1

Marika Lendl (Florida)

72-70-70=212 (-4)

3

Kelli Shean (Arkansas)

71-69-76=216 (E)

T4

Mia Piccio (Florida)

72-73-72=217 (+1)

T4

Rachel Raastad (TCU)

72-72-73=217 (+1)

T6

Valentine Derrey (TCU)

68-74-76=218 (+2)

T6

Evan Jensen (Florida)

72-71-75=218 (+2)

8

Numa Gulyanamitta (Purdue)

72-76-71=219 (+3)

T9

5 players

221 (+5)

 

Florida Scores After Round 3

Place

Team

Score

T1*

Isabelle Lendl

74-67-71=212 (-4)

T1

Marika Lendl

72-70-70=212 (-4)

T4

Mia Piccio

72-73-72=217 (+1)

T6

Evan Jensen

72-71-75=218 (+2)

18

Jessica Yadloczky

76-74-73=223 (+7)

 *won via scorecard playoff

 

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