Wednesday November 21, 2012Three Athletes Sign National Letters of Intent for Gator Women's Golf
The University of Florida women’s golf team signed three players to national letters of intent this week according to head coach Emily Bastel. Sarah Schober, Karolina Vlckova and Maria Torres all will join the Gators next fall for the 2013-14 season and will help bolster a team with many returning players and also bring more international and collegiate experience.
All three players have seen plenty of competition on the amateur level already and Bastel knows is it that experience and talent level that needed to be brought in as she puts her stamp on her first recruiting class as a head coach.
“I am really excited about this recruiting class,” Bastel said. “All three girls have great qualities that you look for in Gator athletes both on and off the golf course. They are passionate about golf, about winning and about the University of Florida. Combined they have huge amounts of tournament experience both nationally and internationally. I believe all three of our signees can and will make an immediate impact on our team.”
Schober comes to UF by way of Redlands Community College (RCC) in El Reno, Okla. Schober was actually a teammate of current Gator Elcin Ulu before Ulu transferred to Gainesville. Last season Schober was part of a top-ranked RCC team that finished second in the NJCAA Women’s National Championship, but Schober finished at the top of the individual leaderboard after carding rounds of 73-71-68-70 to win the national title. This year, Schober is currently coming off a one shot win at the Longbow Fall Preview, her most recent tournament. The sophomore shot two straight rounds of 72, which helped RCC also capture the team title at the tournament. Schober has followed up her NJCAA individual title as a freshman into her sophomore campaign as she is currently ranked the No. 1 player in the nation with a 72.13 scoring average. That play has also helped RCC to No. 1 team ranking this season as well.
“Sarah is an athlete,” Bastel said. “She has a beautiful golf swing and hits the ball hard. Sarah has already competed in many Division I tournaments over the last two years and has proven that she is not only the best player in junior college, but a top player in the country in all divisions.”
Vlckova comes out of the Czech Republic and is currently ranked No. 76 in the Women’s Amateur Golf Rankings. Vlckova played in the World Amateur Team Championships this year and had a top-20 finish individually with rounds of 72-73-68-74 to finish at 1-under as the top player from the Czech Republic. Vlckova has actually been very active on the international circuit this calendar year, logging play in nine different tournaments. Before the WATC, Vlckova finished second at the Austrian International Amateur in early September with rounds of 72-72-72 to card a 217 for the tournament. She also won the Czech International Amateur back in August, winning by 10 shots over Lucie Hinnerova after rounds of 75-74-72-73. Over her last three tournaments, Vlckova has averaged 72.5 strokes per round.
“Karolina is a great talent,” Bastel said. “She is a feel player and knows how to golf her ball. She has a tremendous amount of international experience and has competed at a very high level of competition over the last few years with very solid results. She has the ability to go low and has done so on big stages.”
The final signee for the Gators is Maria Torres out of Puerto Rico. Torres has been one of top junior golfers on the circuit this year and has seen success already and looks to bring those good fortunes to the Gator program. Torres recently finished among the top 20 juniors in the world at the Duke of York Young Champions Tournament in Ayrshire, Scotland back in September. Torres finished in 19th place among the 53 competitors who included junior national champions from around the world. She also represented Puerto Rico in the World Amateur Team Championships this year, helping her country to a 20th place finish (+7) and carding the lowest score among the players from Puerto Rico. After rounds of 74-71-71-73, Torres finished tied for 26th individually and was only one shot over par for the tournament. The Puerto Rico native is currently ranked No. 213 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and arguably the top player in Puerto Rico.
“Maria is a very skilled player and has a great short game,” Bastel said. “She has tremendous touch around the greens and is creative with her shot selection. She has put up very solid and consistent numbers over the last few years. I believe these qualities will make her a great college golfer.”
As for the current Gators, the women’s golf team is on its mid-season break from tournament play until beginning its spring season at the Florida Challenge in Lecanto, Fla. The one-day tournament will be played on Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Black Diamond Ranch Golf Course and is hosted by the University of South Florida.