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The Gators won their home tournament for the 18th-time in school history

Sunday March 18, 2012Women's Golf Repeats as SunTrust Gator Women's Invitational Champions

Gainesville, Fla.

The Gators won their home tournament for the 18th-time in school history

For the second straight year and 18th overall, the University of Florida women’s golf team was able to capture victory at its home event, the SunTrust Gator Women’s Invitational. The Gators, ranked No. 20 by the Golf World/NGCA Coaches’ Poll, carded the second-lowest team total in tournament history with a 54-hole total of 864 (294-283-287, +24), beating last year’s total by one-stroke.

 

“I’m so proud of how my team played all three days but in particular the last two. They played their hearts. They faced quite a bit of adversity the second day and just kept grinding today,” said head coach Jan Dowling. “It was a close match between Alabama all day and we just played hard. We went back and forth all day and it was just really great we were able to finish it off at home against such a good field of teams"

 

UF was able to bounce back to win the tournament despite trailing by 10 strokes after the first round. A late par-save on the final hole of the tournament by freshman Camilla Hedberg (Sitges, Spain) was the difference in the Gators one-stroke triumph over No. 2 Alabama.

 

“We knew we could come back,” explained Dowling. “This golf course requires a lot of course management and it requires a lot of local knowledge and we knew our local knowledge was something we could take advantage of but we also didn’t take it for granted.”

 

Florida’s victory comes against one of the strongest fields they’ve competed against all season. Six of the 16 Gator opponents were ranked or receiving votes entering the tournament. Alabama (2), Auburn (6), Duke (8), Georgia (12), Baylor (13) and FSU (RV) all competed at Mark Bostick Golf Course this weekend.

 

Hedberg finished tied for second-place after posting her second under-par tournament score in her collegiate career. The Spaniard handed in a two-under 208 (68-71-69) for the tournament. Hedberg’s 54-hole total ties her own mark for the lowest tournament total in school history.

 

“I played pretty good today. I stayed very calm,” Hedberg stated “I started with 11 pars in a row so it was kind of a boring round but it was safe. I finished with a good par on 18 so it was quite the calm round.”

 

After posting consecutive one-under 69’s, senior Evan Jensen (Belleair, Fla.) found herself in the top-10 despite being tied for 51st after the first 18 holes. Jensen recorded four birdies in a five-hole stretch during a critical time for the Gators during the final round. Jensen finished in seventh-place, marking her first top-10 finish of the season.

 

“It’s one of the best fields we’ve played against here at our home tournament and to beat Alabama by one down the stretch shows determination. We really prepared well and it paid off,” said Jensen. “It’s nice to be home but at the same time there’s a little bit of added pressure and to push through that and to persevere, it’s really great.”

 

Mia Piccio (Bacolod City, Fla.) carded her fourth top-25 finish of the season with a nine-over 219 (71-72-76), finishing in a tie for 15th.

 

Andrea Watts (Bradenton, Fla.) handed in a final round 73 (+3) to give her a tournament total of 222 (+12) and good enough for a tie for 24th. Watts provided steady play throughout rounds two and three, making seven birdies against seven bogeys and two double bogeys in the final two rounds.

 

Isabelle Lendl (Goshen, Conn.) finished with a total of 239 (81-80-78, +29) and Megan Pak (Bradenton, Fla.), who was competing as an individual, finished with a 223 (73-80-80, +23).

 

“This is obviously a huge confidence booster going into the Liz Murphey and then heading into SEC’s and then into the postseason,” noted Dowling. “Knowing we can compete with the best teams is a great feeling and we’re just going to continue believing in our process and get back to work. We’re excited for the rest of our season.”

 

UF will next hit the course in Athens, Ga. at the UGA Golf Club for the Liz Murphey Classic. The Georgia-hosted tournament is March 30-April 1.

 

Maria Salinas captured first-place among all players, marking the second year in a row a golfer from FSU placed first in the event. Salinas’ 206 (68-72-66, -4) is the lowest individual tournament score ever at the Gator Women’s Invitational.

 

For complete coverage of UF’s women’s golf program visit GatorZone.com, follow @GatorZoneGolf on Twitter and ‘like’ the University of Florida Women’s Golf page on Facebook.

 

Team Leaderboard

PLACE

SCHOOL

TO PAR

ROUND 1

ROUND 2

ROUND 3

SCORE

1

Florida

+24

294

283

287

864

2

Alabama

+25

284

293

288

865

3

Florida State

+32

290

293

289

872

4

Georgia 

+37

286

296

295

877

5

Duke

+42

295

300

287

882

T6

South Florida

+45

294

294

297

885

T6

Auburn

+45

293

300

292

885

T6

Arkansas

+45

297

299

289

885

9

Baylor

+46

302

293

291

886

10

Mississippi 

+51

305

293

293

891

11

Kentucky

+56

291

299

306

896

12

UCF

+66

303

298

305

906

13

Wisconsin

+72

303

301

308

912

14

Kent State

+78

309

306

303

918

15

Chattanooga

+83

302

311

310

923

16

Mississippi State

+86

304

315

307

926

17

Georgia State

+89

309

305

315

929

 

Individual Top-10

PLACE

PLAYER

SCHOOL

TO PAR

ROUND 1

ROUND 2

ROUND 3

SCORE

1

Maria Salinas

Florida State

-4

68

72

66

206

T2

Camilla Hedberg

Florida

-2

68

71

69

208

T2

Christina Miller

South Florida

-2

69

67

72

208

T4

Stephanie Meadow

Alabama

E

71

71

68

210

T4

Emily Tubert

Arkansas

E

72

70

68

210

6

Emilie Burger

Georgia

+1

67

71

73

211

7

Evan Jensen

Florida

+5

77

69

69

215

8

Lindy Duncan

Duke

+6

72

77

67

216

T9

Hayley Davis

Baylor

+7

77

67

73

217

T9

Marta Sanz

Auburn

+7

73

72

72

217

 

 

Florida Results

PLACE

PLAYER

TO PAR

ROUND 1

ROUND 2

ROUND 3

SCORE

T2

Camilla Hedberg

-2

68

71

69

208

7

Evan Jensen

+5

77

69

69

215

T15

Mia Piccio

+9

71

72

76

219

T25

Andrea Watts

+12

78

71

73

222

T79

Isabelle Lendl

+29

81

80

78

239

T65

*Megan Pak

+23

73

80

80

233

*Competed as an individual

 

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