The No. 12 University of Florida women’s golf team finished 12th at the NCAA Championship after shooting a final round 10-over 298. UF, who finished with a 1190 (302-293-297-298, +38), has now recorded consecutive top-15 finishes at the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2006. Junior Isabelle Lendl (Goshen, Conn.) shot a six-under, 66, to pace the entire field on the final day at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn.
“Twelfth is a solid finish, and I am very proud of this group of young women. The team came into the tournament hoping to do big things, and we didn’t quite bring our A games all four days.” head coach Jan Dowling said. “The girls gained invaluable experience playing in their second national championship in a row and to be somewhat in the mix is a great experience. Posting good numbers on this tough of a golf course is an accomplishment.”
Lendl carded one eagle and five birdies against one bogey during the fourth and final round of the NCAA Championship. Lendl, who finished in a tie for 51st, shot a combined five-under in her final two rounds. Lendl’s 66 tied for the lowest round of the tournament.
“She is a wonderful example of persistence and hard work. I can’t be more proud of her playing the way she did the last two days, really, and particularly today. I just can’t be more proud of her being able to do that,” Dowling added. “She deserves all the credit. She works her butt off and we believe in her. You have to be doing a lot of really good things to shoot a 66. She should be very proud and I think this will catapult her into a great summer and a great senior year.”
Senior Andrea Watts (Bradenton, Fla.) closed out her final collegiate tournament with a three-over 75. Watts finished with a tournament total of 308 (76-77-80, +20) and tied for 98th.
Freshman Camilla Hedberg (Sitges, Spain) handed in a tournament total 206 (76-69-74-77,+8) and finished in a tie for 33rd while senior Evan Jensen (Belleair, Fla.) finished tied for 63rd with a 301 (74-73-74-80, +13) in her final collegiate event.
Junior Mia Piccio (Bacolod City, Philippines), who tied for 98th, carded four-day total of 306 (76-74-76-80, +18).
“The seniors did a wonderful job this year. They both contributed in different ways. I think they can look back on their four years and can be very proud and they can look back on their senior year and be very proud,” said Dowling “They’ve done a lot for our program, they’ve been great role models and they’re leaving the team in a better place than where it started. I’m very happy for them and I wish them the best in their futures.”
No. 2 Alabama held on to the top spot with a tournament total of 1171 (+19). The Tide held off No. 4 USC by one stroke. Chirapat Jao-Javanil of Oklahoma won individual medalist honors with a tournament total of 282 (69-73-70-70, -6).
The Gators finished this season with six top-five finishes this season, which is two more than last year and the most since the 2007-08 season. The 4th place finish at the SEC Championship and the T4th place finish at the NCAA Regional are the best finishes at those respective tournaments under Jan Dowling. It’s the best finish for the Gators at those events since 2008 when UF won both the SEC and the Regional tournaments.
“This is a stepping stone to becoming a team that is consistently contending for national championships,” Dowling explained. “We finished twelfth while not playing our best and I think that’s a testament to the team and their hard work and we’re looking forward to next year already. Our players are building this into a great program and the future is bright.”
Courtesy UF Communications