Friday March 15, 2013Hedberg and Ulu keep Gators Near Top On Tough First Day of Gator Invite
Red numbers were hard to come by on the first day of the 2013 SunTrust Gator Women’s Invitational, but the fifth-ranked University of Florida women’s golf team utilized its home course advantage and shot a nine-over (289) to finish the first day in third place in the team standings, just four shots back of leader Oklahoma, which finished Friday’s round with a five-over (285).
“The golf course is tough in general,” Florida head coach Emily Bastel said. “The par is 70 and very few par fives, so scores here tend to be a little higher in general. The greens are firm and fast, but we’ll need to do a better job of just staying patient. Even though we play here all the time, there are times that you can’t always go to the pin. We just have to stay patient and remind ourselves of those things. You can’t try harder in golf, you just have to keep in the one shot at a time mentality and that’s the goal for the next couple of days.”
Very few birdies were being written down on scorecards all over the golf course and it seemed that par would be the score to shoot for. A couple of Gators were able to stay on or near par all day and it was exactly what UF needed to keep its name near the top with two rounds to go.
Sophomore Camilla Hedberg (Sitges, Spain) and junior transfer Elcin Ulu (Istanbul, Turkey) held the top two scores for the Gators the majority of the day with Hedberg leading the way at one-under 69 after completing her 18 holes to sit in a tie for second place. For the Spanaird, its her team leading 13th even or under par round of the year and her second score of 69 in as many tournaments. Out of the entire 78 player field, Hedberg is one of only six players to shoot under par as she is only one shot back of the leaders, Stephanie Meadow of Alabama and Portland Rosen of Virginia.
Hedberg seemed to stay patient throughout the round, carding only one bogey to go with two birdies on No. 6 and No. 8 through the first nine holes, but couldn’t go any lower as two birdies were countered by two bogeys on the back nine to keep her at one-under.
Like her teammate, Ulu also got her round off to a strong start as she birdied the par four, 1st hole, and the par three at No. 6. Unfortunately, a bogey at No. 5 kept her at one-under at the turn and then two more bogeys at No. 10 and No. 16 dropped her to two-over for the day with just two holes to play. But Ulu was able to rally and birdie the par four, 18th, to complete the round at one-over (71) and put her in a tie for 10th place. The 71 ties for her second lowest score of the year as she last had a 71 in the second round of the Betsy Rawls Invitational back in October of the fall season.
“Elcin has worked on her short game really hard,” Bastel said. “She also worked on her long game, so different parts of your golf game work like that. If you feel really confident in your short game, it helps your ball striking just from a standpoint of if you miss the fairway you can get up and down. In general, she’s just a hard worker. I’d probably tell her to leave the range before I have to tell her to practice, which is a good problem to have.”
Senior Mia Piccio (Bacolod City, Philippines) had the third lowest score for the Gators on Friday after carding a three-over (73) to place her in a tie for 20th. After having only two bogeys and no birdies on the front nine, Piccio was able to write down some red numbers on the back nine with under par scores at the par five, 12th, and par four, 14th. However, a bogey on No. 13 and then a double-bogey on No. 16 took her overall score a little higher than expected, but still was able to stay in the top-25 heading into Saturday.
Rounding out the Gators’ fourth and fifth scores, senior Isabelle Lendl (Goshen, Conn.) had a back nine that she will need to put in the rearview mirror going into Saturday as she finished the day with a six-over (76) to sit in a tie for 39th place. Lastly, freshman Ursa Orehek (Domzale, Slovenia) finished at eight-over (78) and will be in a tie for 57th place going into tomorrow’s second round.
“I want our team to keep their heads up,” Bastel said. “Obviously, we didn’t play the way we felt we could today. In my opinion, we were just one score short of having a great day, but we’re still right in the mix. I told them that’s why these events are three days because we still have two more days. We have to play tough for two more days and then we’ll see what happens.”
Play will continue tomorrow with the second round of the 2013 SunTrust Gator Women’s Invitational and live score will be available on GolfStat.com. The first groups are set to tee off at 9 a.m. Full tee times can be found on GolfStat.com.
A full recap with complete results can be found on GatorZone.com following the day’s play.
SunTrust Gator Women’s invite Team Scores After Round 1
Place School Score
1 Oklahoma +5 (285)
2 Alabama +6 (286)
3 Florida +9 (289)
4 Miami +10 (290)
T5 Oklahoma St. +13 (293)
T5 Mississippi St. +13 (293)
7 Florida St. +14 (294)
8 Baylor +16 (296)
9 Virginia +17 (297)
10 North Carolina +21 (301)
11 Chattanooga +22 (302)
12 Florida Intl. +23 (303)
13 Kent St. +25 (305)
14 South Florida +29 (309)
15 San Diego St. +32 (312)
SunTrust Gator Women’s Invite Individual Top 10 After Round 1
Place Player (School) Score
T1 Stephanie Meadow (Alabama) -2 (68)
T1 Portland Rosen (Virginia) -2 (68)
T3 Camilla Hedberg (Florida) -1 (69)
T3 Josephine Janson (Oklahoma St.) -1 (69)
T3 Chirapat Jao-Javanil (Oklahoma) -1 (69)
T3 AC Tanguay (Oklahoma) -1 (69)
T7 Carina Cuculiza (Miami) E (70)
T7 Jessica Negron (Florida St.) E (70)
T7 Emma Talley (Alabama) E (70)
T10 Malin Jansson (Florida St.) +1 (71)
T10 Ally McDonald (Miss. St.) +1 (71)
T10 Gabi Oubre (Miss. St.) +1 (71)
T10 Rika Park (Miami) +1 (71)
T10 Elcin Ulu (Florida) +1 (71)
SunTrust Gator Women’s Invite Florida Players After Round 1
Place Player Score
T3 Camilla Hedberg -1 (69)
T10 Elcin Ulu +1 (71)
T20 Mia Piccio +3 (73)
T20 Anna Young* +3 (73)
T39 Isabelle Lendl +6 (76)
T57 Ursa Orehek +8 (78)
T71 Megan Pak* +11 (81)
* - denotes competed as individuals