Despite a top-10 finish in each of their nine regular season tournaments, including three regular season wins, the hilly UGA Golf Course and windy conditions got the best of the Florida Gator Women’s Golf team, which finished 17th in their third-straight NCAA Championships appearance in Athens, Georgia.
The Gators were without senior Isabelle Lendl, a five-time top-10 finisher this season, including winning the Dale McNamara and Tar Heel Invitationals in the fall. The team looked to senior Mia Piccio, who finished in the top-10 three times this season, to lead the way. Piccio exhibited consistency as she shot 75 in her last three rounds to card a 298 (+10), her second-lowest career finish at Florida, for a tie for 37th at the NCAA Championships.
Sophomore Camilla Hedberg, six-time top-10 finisher this season with three individual wins at the Cougar Classic, Betsy Rawls Invitational, and Florida Challenge, finished just behind Piccio with a four-round total of 301 (+13) and tied for 50th.
Two other gators finished within seven shots of Piccio; Freshman Ursa Orehek (+15) and junior Elcin Ulu (+17) finished T66 and T73, respectively. Sophomore Anna Young, playing in the place of Lendl, finished 25-over and tied for 109th.
Florida finished ahead of SEC foes Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and Mississippi State at the NCAA Championships. Two other SEC teams, Auburn and Alabama, finished 6th and 7th, respectively. Arkansas tied for 13th. Florida finished their season with three wins and five individual medalists from two players. The Gators must say goodbye to seniors Mia Piccio, Isabelle Lendl, and Megan Pak, as they head into head coach Emily Bastel’s second season with Florida in the fall.
The Florida Men’s Golf team advanced to the NCAA Championships for the 13th straight year under Coach Buddy Alexander after a second place finish at the NCAA South Regional in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Seniors T.J. Vogel and Tyler McCumber, who both finished tied for third place at one-under par, led the Gators to finish +10 and six behind Alabama for second place.
Two other SEC teams, LSU and Tennessee, finished in the top five in the NCAA South Regional and will also advance to the NCAA Championships in Woodstock, Georgia. Men’s golf is a little different than women’s golf; three rounds of stroke play will reduce the field to eight teams. The winner of the team championship will then be determined by match play among the remaining eight teams. Play begins on Tuesday, May 28th.