Florida women’s golf in second after first round at Cougar Classic

HANAHAN, S.C.- The No. 16 Florida Gators women’s golf team is in second place at the conclusion of the first round of the Cougar Classic. The Gators tallied a team score of 284 (-2) at the par-72, 6,205 yard Yeamans Hall Golf Club.

The Gators, who are competing against 21 other teams including eight top-20 teams and six SEC opponents, are one of five teams to shoot under par during the first round. UF made 18 birdies and two eagles during the initial round

“Four rounds under par is great,” Florida head coach Jan Dowling said. “We had a lot of birdies out there, but at the same time, we feel like we left a little bit out there and could have finished better, minus Camilla.”

The Gators had four golfers finish at one-under, good enough for a tie for 13th place individually. Mia Piccio, Isabelle Lendl, Camilla Hedberg and Evan Jensen all shot 71 in round one of the classic. Senior Andrea Watts finished with a three-over 75.

“It is encouraging to be sitting in second place and we all feel like we aren’t even close to our potential,” Dowling said. “We have a lot of improvements and adjustments to make. The greens were a little different from our practice round so everybody had to make that adjustment today.”

Piccio, who’s best individual finish came at last year’s Cougar Classic (T-6th), made all of her five birdies on the back nine and three of those coming in a four-hole span. The junior, who tops the Florida lineup, recorded a two-over 38 on the front and a three-under 33 on the back.

Lendl made five birdies, two bogeys and one double bogey in the first round of her junior season. Lendl shot a one-under 35 on the front and a consistent 36 on the back nine.

Hedberg, who was making her UF debut, got off to slow start but finished strong. The freshman bogeyed four of her first seven holes but bounced back by making five birdies on her last 11 holes. Hedberg came into the tournament fourth in the lineup.

“Camilla had a great comeback,” Dowling said. “She may have been a little nervous this being her first college meet but she handled herself really well. After the first seven holes, she found her game and starting making adjustments.”

Jensen, who shot even at last year’s Cougar Classic, made two eagles in a three-hole span during Sunday’s round. The senior finished with two eagles, two birdies, and five bogeys. Jensen was two-under on par fives and one-under on par threes during her initial round.

Watts made two birdies and five bogeys during her first round as a senior. Watts shot a two-over 38 on the front nine and a one-over 37 on the back. Her birdies came on back-to-back holes on holes 15 and 16.

Tee times for the second day of the classic will begin at 8 a.m., Monday.