Saturday October 27, 2012Final Fall Tournament for 2nd-ranked Gator Women at Betsy Rawls Invitational
The 2nd-ranked Florida Gator women’s golf team will be taking part in its final tournament of the fall this weekend as it will travel to Austin, Texas to play in the Betsy Rawls Invitational Sunday through Tuesday.
This is the fourth tournament for the Gators since the fall semester began and in the previous three tournaments, Florida has claimed the top individual winner in each, two of which was from senior Isabelle Lendl (Goshen, Conn.). Lendl has won two straight tournaments leading up to this weekend and has finished in the top five in all three contests.
This weekend’s tournament will take place at the University of Texas Golf Club (Par 72, 6,344 yards) near the campus of the University of Texas. The field consists of 15 teams, seven of which are ranked in the top-25 of the NGCA/Coaches’ Poll. Florida is the highest ranked team in the field and is one of four Southeastern Conference teams that will be playing.
“We’re excited to face another great field this week in Texas,” Florida head coach Emily Bastel said. “We’ll also get to see some West Coast teams that we haven’t faced this year, which will really benefit us going into the spring. We’re expecting the weather to be cool and windy and we’ve been preparing for that accordingly in the days leading up to this tournament.”
UF is coming off a strong showing at the Tar Heel Invite two weeks ago that saw a stellar performance from Lendl, who shot all three of her rounds under par including a 69 on the final day to take over the overall lead. It was a lead that she did not hold for the entire tournament until the third round where she benefitted from a strong back nine with three birdies and five pars.
Lendl is having the best season of her college career through three tournaments. Not only claiming two straight tournament wins, Lendl has finished in the top-five of all three tournaments this fall and has three sub-70 rounds. She has also carded two rounds of 67, one at the Cougar Classic and the other at the Dale McNamara Invite and the 67 is a career low for the senior. Her tournament lows of 210 at the Dale McNamara and Tar Heel Invite are also career lows.
As a team, the Gators have gotten great veteran leadership from not only Lendl, but also sophomore Camilla Hedberg (Sitges, Spain) and senior Mia Piccio (Bacolod City, Philippines). Hedberg won her first tournament of her young Gator career back at the Cougar Classic to kick off the year and Piccio has played in two of the three tournaments this fall, finishing in the top-15 both times. Piccio’s best finish also came at the Cougar Classic, where she tied for sixth place after shooting two straight rounds of 70. Piccio will be back in the lineup this weekend after missing the Tar Heel Invite.
As for the other teams in the field, 15 teams will complete the tournament, including the Gators with Florida as the highest ranked team according to the NGCA/Coaches’ Poll. Arkansas, Alabama and Auburn will be the other SEC teams in the field. Alabama is ranked No. 6, Auburn is ranked No. 8, while Arkansas has been receiving votes. After Florida, Arizona State is the next highest ranked team at No. 3, followed by Alabama.
Play will begin tomorrow with the first groups teeing off at 9:15 a.m. Live scoring will be available on GolfStat.com and results will also be posted throughout the day at TexasSports.com. A complete recap with results will be posted on GatorZone.com following the day’s play
Tournament Field (NGCA/Coaches’ Poll rankings in parentheses)
Arizona State (3)