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Lendl lurking three strokes back of lead after second round of Liz Murphey Classic

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ATHENS, Ga. – Isabelle Lendl (Goshen, Conn.) has played herself into medalist contention after two rounds at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic following a second round 74 (+2) that put her at 147 (+3) overall, three strokes back of the leader, Numa Gulyanamitta from Purdue.

As a team, the No. 24 Gators rose three spots into 12th place after recording a score of 293 (+5) which was the third-lowest of the 23 teams in the field on a windy day at the University of Georgia Golf Course.

“It was a tough day out there,” Florida head coach Jan Dowling said. “We are playing seven-hour rounds of golf which takes patience and then there was a lot of wind today. Overall, our team stayed patient. We had a couple of bad holes but we made some birdies today.”

The Gators got off to a blistering start, totaling the best score in the 23-team field on the opening four holes, collectively shooting a four-under that boosted them from a tie for 15th when the day began to eighth. Senior Jessica Yadloczky (Casselberry, Fla.) was the early catalyst as she birdied the Florida’s opening hole at No. 12 to create some momentum. Sophomore Mia Piccio (Bacolod City, Philippines) followed with birdies on 13 and 15 while junior Evan Jensen (Belleair, Fla.) added one of her own on 14. Meanwhile, Lendl and Andrea Watts (Bradenton, Fla.) were steady, carding pars on each of those holes, allowing the Orange and Blue to make its upward move.

Florida maintained its team score of four-under through eight holes, rising as high as a tie for sixth, and was on pace for the lowest score of the second round before enduring a rough patch on the par-4 No. 9 where all five players bogeyed.

Lendl started her round with seven straight pars before a rare birdie on No. 1 put her in a three-way tie for the individual lead. After four pars, she bogeyed No. 6 but recovered with a birdie on No. 7 to get back to one-under before a bogey on No. 9 and a double bogey on her final hole dropped her back to two-over. Lendl will enter Sunday’s final round tied for fifth.

“The entire front side from Nos. 1 through 9, she had five one-putts and technically seven one-putts because two of those were off the green,” Dowling revealed. “She had some great par putts. She had two birdies on that side as well. No. 1 was playing so hard today and she left herself below the hole at about 35 feet and made that from the fringe. On No. 7, she made about a 20-footer for birdie. She made a lot of clutch par saves and it was fun to watch.

“She’s three back from the lead so I know she’s going to go out there and compete for an individual championship. She’s fully capable of that and it’s the first time (this season) she’s been legitimately in contention so that’s going to be fun to watch and it should help our team.”

Watts rebounded impressively from a difficult 85 (+13) in the first round to pace Florida with a 74 (+2) on day two. The junior shot par her first seven holes and then navigated the front nine at three-over before making her lone birdie on the par-4 10th. The 74 matched her second-lowest round of the spring, equaling the 74 she carded in the second round of the SunTrust Gator Women’s Invitational 26 days ago.

“I think she lost some confidence in her first round yesterday and that threw her rhythm and tempo off,” Dowling said of Watts. “She got that back today. She’s got a beautiful golf swing and she putted well today. She hung in there and stayed patient all day. All of the little things that you need to do to play well, she did today.”

Piccio improved her score four strokes from yesterday, as she posted a 75 (+3) in round two. As a result, she vaulted 39 places on the leaderboard and is knotted in 39th with 11 other golfers. The sophomore birdied two of her first four holes and has now gone eight consecutive rounds without anything worse than a bogey.

“She had one three-putt today but besides that, her ball-striking was better,” Dowling said. “I don’t think she’s quite where she’d like to be but it definitely was an improvement and she putted better today, resulting in a lower score.”

Yadloczky for the second day in a row, made a birdie on Florida’s opening hole to give the team a lift. She was one-over through eight before settling for bogeys on Nos. 2, 3 and 4. After her second birdie of the afternoon on No. 8, the lone Gator senior bogeyed her final three holes to head to the clubhouse with a 78 (+6).

Jensen’s round was a tale of two nines, as she went nine-over on the course’s front nine but was one-under without a blemish on her scorecard on the back nine, en route to an 80 (+8).

Second-ranked Alabama leads by four strokes heading the third round with a team score of 577 (286-291,+1).

The entire 23-team field will have a shotgun start at 9:00 a.m. ET for the final round.

Fans can follow the Gators at http://www.golfstat.com for live scoring.

Team Scores After Round 2

1. Alabama: 286, 291 — 577 (+1)

2. Purdue: 284, 297 — 581 (+5)

3. Georgia: 291, 294 — 585 (+9)

4. Duke: 291, 296 — 587 (+11)

5. Notre Dame: 302, 286 — 588 (+12)

6. Ohio State: 300, 289 — 589 (+13)

7. Virginia: 294, 296 — 590 (+14)

T8. Auburn: 294, 297 — 591 (+15)

T8. Wake Forest: 294, 297 — 591 (+15)

T10. Arkansas: 294, 298 — 592 (+16)

T10. Michigan State: 296, 296 — 592 (+16)

12. Florida: 300, 293 — 593 (+17)

13. Florida State: 293, 302 — 595 (+19)

14. North Carolina: 297, 299 — 596 (+20)

T15. LSU: 303, 296 — 599 (+23)

T15. Oklahoma: 295, 304 — 599 (+23)

17. Kent State: 306, 297— 603 (+27)

18. Kennesaw State: 295, 313 — 608 (+32)

19. South Carolina: 296, 313 — 609 (+33)

20. Kentucky: 307, 303 — 610 (+34)

21. Furman: 304, 307 — 611 (+35)

22. Georgia State: 311, 302 — 613 (+37)

23. Chattanooga: 310, 304 — 614 (+38)

Individual Top 10 Through Round 2

1. Numa Gulyanamitta (Purdue): 71, 73 — 144 (E)

T2. Marta Silva Zamora (Georgia): 74, 71 — 145 (+1)

T2. Emily Tubert (Arkansas): 72, 73 — 145 (+1)

4. Stephanie Meadow (Alabama): 73, 73 — 146 (+2)

T5. Isabelle Lendl (Florida): 73, 74 — 147 (+3)

T5. Amy Meier (Ohio State): 74, 73 — 147 (+3)

T5. Brooke Pancake (Alabama): 75, 72 — 147 (+3)

T5. Hannah Thomson (Florida State): 70, 77 — 147 (+3)

T9. Laetitia Beck (Duke): 74, 74— 148 (+4)

T9. Laura Gonzalez (Purdue): 72, 76 — 148 (+4)

T9. Casey Grice (North Carolina): 72, 76 — 148 (+4)

Florida Results After Round 2

T5. Isabelle Lendl: 73, 74 — 147 (+3)

T39. Evan Jensen: 74, 80 — 154 (+10)

T39. Mia Piccio: 79, 75 — 154 (+10)

T71. Jessica Yadloczky: 79, 78 — 157 (+13)

T82. Andrea Watts: 85, 74 — 159 (+15)

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ATHENS, Ga. – Isabelle Lendl (Goshen, Conn.) has played herself into medalist contention after two rounds at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic following a second round 74 (+2) that put her at 147 (+3) overall, three strokes back of the leader, Numa Gulyanamitta from Purdue.

As a team, the No. 24 Gators rose three spots into 12th place after recording a score of 293 (+5) which was the third-lowest of the 23 teams in the field on a windy day at the University of Georgia Golf Course.

“It was a tough day out there,” Florida head coach Jan Dowling said. “We are playing seven-hour rounds of golf which takes patience and then there was a lot of wind today. Overall, our team stayed patient. We had a couple of bad holes but we made some birdies today.”

The Gators got off to a blistering start, totaling the best score in the 23-team field on the opening four holes, collectively shooting a four-under that boosted them from a tie for 15th when the day began to eighth. Senior Jessica Yadloczky (Casselberry, Fla.) was the early catalyst as she birdied the Florida’s opening hole at No. 12 to create some momentum. Sophomore Mia Piccio (Bacolod City, Philippines) followed with birdies on 13 and 15 while junior Evan Jensen (Belleair, Fla.) added one of her own on 14. Meanwhile, Lendl and Andrea Watts (Bradenton, Fla.) were steady, carding pars on each of those holes, allowing the Orange and Blue to make its upward move.

Florida maintained its team score of four-under through eight holes, rising as high as a tie for sixth, and was on pace for the lowest score of the second round before enduring a rough patch on the par-4 No. 9 where all five players bogeyed.

Lendl started her round with seven straight pars before a rare birdie on No. 1 put her in a three-way tie for the individual lead. After four pars, she bogeyed No. 6 but recovered with a birdie on No. 7 to get back to one-under before a bogey on No. 9 and a double bogey on her final hole dropped her back to two-over. Lendl will enter Sunday’s final round tied for fifth.

“The entire front side from Nos. 1 through 9, she had five one-putts and technically seven one-putts because two of those were off the green,” Dowling revealed. “She had some great par putts. She had two birdies on that side as well. No. 1 was playing so hard today and she left herself below the hole at about 35 feet and made that from the fringe. On No. 7, she made about a 20-footer for birdie. She made a lot of clutch par saves and it was fun to watch.

“She’s three back from the lead so I know she’s going to go out there and compete for an individual championship. She’s fully capable of that and it’s the first time (this season) she’s been legitimately in contention so that’s going to be fun to watch and it should help our team.”

Watts rebounded impressively from a difficult 85 (+13) in the first round to pace Florida with a 74 (+2) on day two. The junior shot par her first seven holes and then navigated the front nine at three-over before making her lone birdie on the par-4 10th. The 74 matched her second-lowest round of the spring, equaling the 74 she carded in the second round of the SunTrust Gator Women’s Invitational 26 days ago.

“I think she lost some confidence in her first round yesterday and that threw her rhythm and tempo off,” Dowling said of Watts. “She got that back today. She’s got a beautiful golf swing and she putted well today. She hung in there and stayed patient all day. All of the little things that you need to do to play well, she did today.”

Piccio improved her score four strokes from yesterday, as she posted a 75 (+3) in round two. As a result, she vaulted 39 places on the leaderboard and is knotted in 39th with 11 other golfers. The sophomore birdied two of her first four holes and has now gone eight consecutive rounds without anything worse than a bogey.

“She had one three-putt today but besides that, her ball-striking was better,” Dowling said. “I don’t think she’s quite where she’d like to be but it definitely was an improvement and she putted better today, resulting in a lower score.”

Yadloczky for the second day in a row, made a birdie on Florida’s opening hole to give the team a lift. She was one-over through eight before settling for bogeys on Nos. 2, 3 and 4. After her second birdie of the afternoon on No. 8, the lone Gator senior bogeyed her final three holes to head to the clubhouse with a 78 (+6).

Jensen’s round was a tale of two nines, as she went nine-over on the course’s front nine but was one-under without a blemish on her scorecard on the back nine, en route to an 80 (+8).

Second-ranked Alabama leads by four strokes heading the third round with a team score of 577 (286-291,+1).

The entire 23-team field will have a shotgun start at 9:00 a.m. ET for the final round.

Fans can follow the Gators at http://www.golfstat.com for live scoring.

Team Scores After Round 2

1. Alabama: 286, 291 — 577 (+1)

2. Purdue: 284, 297 — 581 (+5)

3. Georgia: 291, 294 — 585 (+9)

4. Duke: 291, 296 — 587 (+11)

5. Notre Dame: 302, 286 — 588 (+12)

6. Ohio State: 300, 289 — 589 (+13)

7. Virginia: 294, 296 — 590 (+14)

T8. Auburn: 294, 297 — 591 (+15)

T8. Wake Forest: 294, 297 — 591 (+15)

T10. Arkansas: 294, 298 — 592 (+16)

T10. Michigan State: 296, 296 — 592 (+16)

12. Florida: 300, 293 — 593 (+17)

13. Florida State: 293, 302 — 595 (+19)

14. North Carolina: 297, 299 — 596 (+20)

T15. LSU: 303, 296 — 599 (+23)

T15. Oklahoma: 295, 304 — 599 (+23)

17. Kent State: 306, 297— 603 (+27)

18. Kennesaw State: 295, 313 — 608 (+32)

19. South Carolina: 296, 313 — 609 (+33)

20. Kentucky: 307, 303 — 610 (+34)

21. Furman: 304, 307 — 611 (+35)

22. Georgia State: 311, 302 — 613 (+37)

23. Chattanooga: 310, 304 — 614 (+38)

Individual Top 10 Through Round 2

1. Numa Gulyanamitta (Purdue): 71, 73 — 144 (E)

T2. Marta Silva Zamora (Georgia): 74, 71 — 145 (+1)

T2. Emily Tubert (Arkansas): 72, 73 — 145 (+1)

4. Stephanie Meadow (Alabama): 73, 73 — 146 (+2)

T5. Isabelle Lendl (Florida): 73, 74 — 147 (+3)

T5. Amy Meier (Ohio State): 74, 73 — 147 (+3)

T5. Brooke Pancake (Alabama): 75, 72 — 147 (+3)

T5. Hannah Thomson (Florida State): 70, 77 — 147 (+3)

T9. Laetitia Beck (Duke): 74, 74— 148 (+4)

T9. Laura Gonzalez (Purdue): 72, 76 — 148 (+4)

T9. Casey Grice (North Carolina): 72, 76 — 148 (+4)

Florida Results After Round 2

T5. Isabelle Lendl: 73, 74 — 147 (+3)

T39. Evan Jensen: 74, 80 — 154 (+10)

T39. Mia Piccio: 79, 75 — 154 (+10)

T71. Jessica Yadloczky: 79, 78 — 157 (+13)

T82. Andrea Watts: 85, 74 — 159 (+15)

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