Special report on the Florida Gators women’s golf team:
STILLWATER, Okla. – The Gators make their 27th appearance in the NCAA Championships with the first round of play set to start Friday.
This will be the fifth time under the direction of head coach Glaser Florida will compete in the NCAA Championships. UF’s best finish in Glaser’s six years at the helm came last year when the Gators advanced to the quarterfinals of match play.
Florida returns just one player that was in last year’s starting five, Taylor Tomlinson. This will be Tomlinson’s third start for the Gators in the championships with her highest finish coming last year in Sugar Grove, Ill. She tied for 24th in the event and helped Florida earn the six seed in match play.
The last time the Gators were at in Stillwater was in the 2014 NCAA Regionals. They had to defeat host Oklahoma State in a playoff at Karsten Creek Golf Club to earn the final spot in nationals.
Sierra Brooks also has some familiarity with the course. The sophomore finished second at the PING Invitational in 2015 shooting 215 (+6) over three rounds of play.
Florida will be paired with Arizona State and Northwestern for the first two rounds on Friday and Saturday. All three schools advanced on to match play in last year’s NCAA Championship with the Sun Devils returning as the defending National Champions. Marta Perez will be the first Gator to tee it up at 2:21 p.m. (ET).
Course Information: The tournament is being held at the Par 72, 6,328 yards Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.
Format: 54-hole stroke play where teams will play three rounds over first three days. The top 15 teams will advance to a fourth round of stroke play. After the fourth round, the top eight teams move on to match play.
Friday Rd. 1 – 2:21 p.m. (ET)
On playing in the NCAA Championship:
“We’re excited to be here and I think we have had some good rest between here and regionals. Although you are excited, now you turn to trying to make most of the week. We had a good practice round today and we were focused in on what we want to do.” – Coach Emily Bastel Glaser
On the golf course:
“I like this golf course. I like the level of difficulty that it presents. I think that it’s a great venue for a National Championship and a type of golf course that you’ll see the best team do well here this week. It’s going to test your patience so, were are going to be able to see the level of maturity we have developed throughout the season. The little details will be important for us this week. We have the physical talent but, some of those other factors are going to come into play this week.” – Coach Emily Bastel Glaser
On this experience for a young team
“All these experiences are so important not only now but, for down the road too. This is just another place where we can test ourselves against the best and see how far we have come.” – Coach Emily Bastel Glaser
The Gators’ Lineup
Esborn elevates into the top spot by virtue of being the Gators top finisher at the NCAA Regionals. She placed 12th after carding a 3-under score
Tomlinson is the only Florida player in the lineup with experience in the NCAA Championships. She helped the team advance to quarterfinals of match play last season.
Brooks has had success at Karsten Creek in years past, finishing second at the PING Invitational in 2015.
The Gator freshman has been a mainstay in the lineup all season and was recently named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
Perez leads the Gators with seven top-25 finishes with her most recent one coming at the SEC Championships when she tied for fourth.