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Junior Elcin ulu shot a career-low 68 in the NCAA Central Regional first round Thursday.

Thursday May 9, 2013Three Gators Shoot Career-Lows to Direct UF to NCAA Central Regional First Round Lead

Norman, Okla.

Junior Elcin ulu shot a career-low 68 in the NCAA Central Regional first round Thursday.

Getting career-low scores from senior Mia Piccio (Bacolod City, Philippines) and junior Elcin Ulu (Istanbul, Turkey), the fifth-ranked University of Florida women’s golf team was able to jump out to a one-stroke lead after the first round of the NCAA Central Regional. Piccio tied her career-best with a three-under (69), while Ulu went one stroke better to lead UF with a four-under (68). Ulu also sits in third place on the individual board, trailing only Emily Collins of Oklahoma while Piccio is in a six-way tie for third.

 

As a team, the Gators shot a score of 282 (-6) to lead second-place Oklahoma by one shot, its lowest first round score in an NCAA regional since shooting 284 (-4) as a team in 2010. It’s also Florida lowest score for a first round in any tournament this year as three Gators shot under par for the day. Along with Piccio and Ulu, freshman Ursa Orehek (Domzale, Slovenia) was able to card three birdies and only two bogeys en route to a one-under (71), which ties for her season-best.

 

“We had a nice start to the tournament,” Florida head coach Emily Bastel said. “The girls did a great job of managing their way around this course and sticking to the game plan we came up with during the practice round. It’s great to have Mia (Piccio), Elcin (Ulu) and Ursa (Orehek) all under par and we’ll work hard to do more of the same over the next two days.”

 

Piccio had the first big shot of the day as she was even par through the first three holes, but was able to hole out an eagle on the par four, 4th. The jump in two shots not only catapulted her to the top of the individual board, but put her team at the top of the overall board also. She was then able to add to her score with a birdie on the par five, 8th, and be at three-under at the turn. Looking to build on her good day, the senior moved to four-under just two holes later with a birdie on No. 10, but a bogey at No. 12 dropped her back to three-under, which will be her starting place on Friday in a tie for third place. For Piccio, it’s her first under par round since carding a 71 in the second round of the Betsy Rawls Invitational back in late October and her eighth even or under par round this year. Thursday’s round also marks the third time in her career that she has scored a 69 in an NCAA regional.

 

Leading all Gators on Thursday was Ulu, who bested her career-low for a round by one shot with a 68 (-4). Two birdies on the front nine with no bogeys left her in good position heading into the back nine. She then proceeded to play the next four holes at two-under to move to her current four-under position. Ulu parred out the remaining five holes to cap her best round of her collegiate career and in second place alone. The junior transfer has been up and down since having her best tournament at the SunTrust Gator Women’s Invite in March and shot her only sub-70 round at the Florida Challenge prior to Thursday, However, today’s round was exactly what the Gators needed heading into the second round on Friday.

 

Rounding out the top three Gator scores and not to be outdone was Orehek, who tied her lowest score for the season with a three birdie day for a one-under (71). It’s her lowest round since she carded a 71 in the final round of the Bryan National Collegiate just a few weeks ago and is her second under par round of her young collegiate career. Like her teammates, Orehek got off to a solid start with two birdies and only one bogey to be at one-under going into the back nine. The freshman stayed patient even after bogeying the par four, 11th, and was able to get back to red numbers with a birdie on the par four, 14th hole. Like Ulu and Piccio, Orehek was able to limit the bogeys and will be in a tie for 14th going into Friday.

 

As for the remaining two Gators in the field, sophomore Camilla Hedberg (Sitges, Spain) had a solid day as well going two-over (74) to be in a tie for 56th place going into Friday. Hedberg was actually one-under after nine holes with one birdie and no bogeys, but suffered three setbacks on holes No. 10, 11 and 18 to drop back to two-over for the day in only her second regional appearance in as many collegiate seasons. The 74 is still Hedberg’s second-best regional round of her career and is her best 18-hole score since shooting a 74 in the second round of the Bryan National Collegiate in late March. Anna Young (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada) finished the day with a six-over (78) to be in a tie for 114th going into Friday’s second round.

 

NCAA Central Regional play will continue tomorrow with the first groups set to tee off at 8:30 a.m. The first Gator will go off of the tenth hole at 1:56 p.m. Live scoring as well as full first round results can be found on GolfStat.com. After tomorrow’s round is complete a full recap with complete results of Florida players will be posted on GatorZone.com.

 

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.

 

2013 NCAA Central Regional Team Scores After Round 1

 

Place     Team                                     Score

1              Florida                                   282 (-6)

2              Oklahoma                             283 (-5)

3              Duke                                      284 (-4)

4              TCU                                        290 (+2)

T5           Michigan State                     291 (+3)

T5           UC Davis                               291 (+3)

T7           Mississippi State                  292 (+4)

T7           Arizona State                        292 (+4)

T7           Wisconsin                             292 (+4)

T7           Indiana                                  292 (+4)

11           Coastal Carolina                 293 (+5)

T12         Iowa State                             294 (+6)

T12         Washington                          294 (+6)

T12         NC State                                294 (+6)

T15         Texas Tech                           296 (+8)

T15         SMU                                       296 (+8)                                

17           Wake Forest                         299 (+11)

T18         Campbell                              301 (+13)

T18         Illinois State                          301 (+13)                             

20           UTSA                                     302 (+14)

T21         Gonzaga                               303 (+15)

T21         Lamar                                    303 (+15)

23           Butler                                     305 (+17)

24           Detroit                                    312 (+24)

 

2013 NCAA Central Regional Top 10 Individual Scores After Round 1

 

Place     Name                                                     Score

1              Emily Collins (Oklahoma)                 67 (-5)

2              Elcin Ulu (Florida)                               68 (-4)

T3           Lori Beth Adams (UNCW)                 69 (-3)

T3           Lindy Duncan (Duke)                         69 (-3)

T3           Brittany Henderson (CCU)                69 (-3)

T3           Mia Piccio (Florida)                            69 (-3)

T3           Bev Vatananugulkit (UC Davis)        69 (-3)

T3           Ally McDonald (Mississippi St.)        69 (-3)

T9           Celine Boutier (Duke)                         70 (-2)

T9           Noemi Jimenez (Arizona State)       70 (-2)

T9           Jenna Peters (Butler)                          70 (-2)

T9           Julia Roth (Central Arkansas)           70 (-2)

T9           Elizabeth Tong (Indiana)                   70 (-2)

 

Florida Player Scores After Round 1

 

Place     Name                                     Score

2              Elcin Ulu                                68 (-4)

T3           Mia Piccio                             69 (-3)

T14         Ursa Orehek                         71 (-1)

T49         Camilla Hedberg                 74 (+2)

T106       Anna Young                          78 (+6)

 

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