Sunday September 16, 2012No. 9 Gators Hit Road Again For Dale McNamara Invitational
Broken Arrow, Okla.
Broken Arrow, Okla.
The No. 9 Florida Gator women’s golf team will be back on the course this week just one week removed from its season opening win at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, S.C. UF will look to make it two for two as it tees up at the Dale McNamara Invitational in Broken Arrow, Okla., hosted by the University of Tulsa. The tournament is set to be held at The Golf Club of Oklahoma, a Par-72, 6,282 yard course, and will hold three rounds of play, two of which will be played on Monday. The third and final round will be played on Tuesday.
Last week, the Gators opened the fall season at the Cougar Classic at the Yeamans Hall Club, a course very familiar with the team. The Cougar Classic has been a frequent stop for the UF women’s golf team over the recent years and this year’s squad looked right at home as it not only took home the team title, but also placed three golfers in the top-10 including overall individual winner, sophomore Camilla Hedberg (Sitges, Spain). Hedberg was the only golfer to shoot all three of her rounds in the 60s and used a career-best round two score of 66 to catapult herself to the top of the leaderboard. It was a lead, Hedberg did not relinquish as she ended up winning by four strokes at 13-under (203). The win was also Hedberg’s first individual title in her young college career and it was the first win for new head coach Emily Bastel, who was making her head coaching debut for the Gators.
As for the rest of the team, Florida benefited from its other two veterans, seniors Isabelle Lendl (Goshen, Conn.) and Mia Piccio (Bacolod City, Philippines), who both finished in the top-10 of the individual ranks with Hedberg. Lendl was actually the lowest scoring Gator on day one with a 67. She was able to use that big first day to her advantage and stay near the top of the board to finish fifth at 4-under (212).
For Piccio, the Philippines native struggled slightly on the first day, but then improved by three strokes to shoot 70 in the remaining two rounds to finish tied for sixth with a 3-under (213), her best finish since the 2010 Cougar Classic where she also tied for sixth.
This week, Florida sets its sights on the Dale McNamara Invitational and is sending the same lineup that saw great success in Charleston last week. Hedberg and Lendl, once again, lead the pack with Piccio right in the mix as well in the top three. Freshman Ursa Orehek (Domzale, Slovenia) and sophomore Anna Young (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada) will be making their second starts of their Gator careers and look to build on the experiences from last week in hopes of helping the team to a second straight tournament title to open the year. Last week, Orehek had the fourth lowest score among all Gators in the field as she finished tied for 65th with a 10-over (226). The freshman had a tough first round on the scorecard (79), but showed a good bounce back with a 73 and a 74 to close out the tournament. For Young, she finished tied for 107th after carding an 18-over (234) through three rounds.
As for the other teams in the field, 14 teams will be competing along with Florida and three are currently ranked in the top-25 of the GolfWorld/NGCA Coaches’ Poll. Arizona State is the highest ranked team in the field at No. 4, followed by Florida’s No. 9 spot. Oklahoma State rounds out the ranked teams in this week’s tournament at No. 21. Three teams (SMU, Illinois and Tulsa) also received votes in the first poll of the year. UF is the only school from the Southeastern Conference that will be represented at the invite.
Play will begin tomorrow with the first groups teeing off 9 a.m. Live scoring will be available on GolfStat.com and results will also be posted at TulsaHurricane.com. A complete recap with results will be posted on GatorZone.com following the day’s play.
Tournament Field (Golf World/NGCA Preseason Coaches’ Poll rankings in parentheses)
Arizona State (4)
Middle Tennessee State
Oklahoma State (21)
Texas San Antonio