GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 8 Florida women’s golf team rode a 10-stroke advantage entering the third round on its way to winning the 44th annual SunTrust Gator Invitational at the Mark Bostick Golf Course on Sunday. The Gators finished with an 11-stroke lead at +22 (862), giving them their fourth team title in their past five tournaments.
Second place was claimed by Florida State at +33 (873) and third place by Ohio State at +36 (876). Florida was buoyed by a strong Sunday showing from junior Karolina Vlckova, who carded the only under par round of the day at 2-under 68 en route to tying for seventh place.
The tournament’s individual winner was North Carolina State senior Rachael Taylor, who used momentum from a 4-under first round to finish E (210) with a 3-stroke victory. Also playing well for the Gators was junior Maria Torres, who finished tied for fifth place with a +5 (215). Senior Ursa Orehek and sophomore Taylor Tomlinsontied for 12th place, firing +8 (218). Orehek was Florida’s highest-placing individual, while Tomlinson and Torres earned their seventh top-25 finishes of the season.
Head Coach Emily Glaser:
On winning four of the past five tournaments:
“We try to win every time we go and play. When you can roll a few together like we have done, that’s extra special. It’s a testament to their hard work and dedication to the process.”
On team chemistry:
“I think we’ve paid more attention to it. I’m not sure that when I started coaching I was that convinced that it was that important in a sport like golf. I think I underestimated it. In the past couple years, I made an effort to start believing in the concept, and it’s taken me awhile to teach that to them. I have a good group who is very open to it, and they buy into it. I think when we believe in that, support each other and lift each other up that we push each other and have that healthy competition. We talk a lot about character and how we can be a successful team. Those are the concepts we try to instill in each other.”
Junior Maria Torres:
On how she played overall:
“It could have been better. It doesn’t matter how you finished, it always can be better and golf is a sport like that. You have ups and downs. It’s just more how you stay calm and deal with the process.”
On what it’s like to play at home:
“It’s amazing because it’s the only tournament we have at home. We take it really serious and we love to play in front of the people of Gainesville. Who doesn’t love Gator Nation? It’s amazing.”
Junior Karolina Vlckova
On what she has done to improve her game:
“I would say it’s just natural growth. We’re working on our stuff. I’m just taking it step by step and just trusting the process. If I trust it, it will come and the results will show. And the results are showing. I think they’re going to keep going that way.”
Final Florida Scores:
1. FLORIDA +22 (862)
2. Florida State +33 (873)
3. Ohio State +36 (876)
4. Oregon +37 (877)
5. NC State +41 (881)
T5. Maria Torres +5 (74-68-73—215)
T7. Karolina Vlckova +6 (79-69-68—216)
T12. Ursa Orehek* +8 (71-72-75—218)
T12. Taylor Tomlinson +8 (72-71-75—218)
T19. Kelly Grassel +11 (71-73-77—221)
T34. Sydney Needham* +15 (77-72-76—225)
T38. Sam Wagner +16 (73-71-82—226)
T55. Madison Pacheco* +21 (77-79-75—231)
T65. Laura Kanouse* +25 (80-81-74—235)
*Playing as an Individual
Follow the Gators: The Orange and Blue will be back in action March 21-22 at the Briar’s Creek Invitational in Johns Island, S.C. Florida will be looking to defend its victory from Briar’s Creek last year.