UF women’s golfer Elin Esborn believes the Gators are getting better, even though the results haven’t quite showed it.

“I think we’ve really improved mentally more than anything,” the redshirt freshman said.

Esborn expressed that the mental wear and tear of the fall took a toll on the young team. She said distractions, like Hurricane Irma, presented the team with mental obstacles.

UF began the season in promising fashion. A final-round surge led by Esborn propelled the Gators to a third-place finish at the Ocean Course Invitational in early September. In the next tournament, the Schooner Fall Classic on Sept. 23, Florida was tied for second headed into Day 3, but couldn’t capitalize and dropped a spot on the leaderboard.

After a fourth-place finish at the Windy City Classic on Oct. 3, the Gators had their worst finish of the season at the Landfall Tradition two weeks ago, where they sat in 13th place after Round 2. This result became final after Round 3 was canceled due to rain.

Sophomore Marta Perez and freshman Addie Baggarly had strong rounds but lacked consistency between tournaments. Aside from a 12th-place finish at Windy City, senior Taylor Tomlinson has struggled mightily in the first half of her final campaign with the Gators, having not finished in the top 30 of any other tournament.

Still, Esborn feels like the defending SEC champions’ struggles in the fall have prepared them for a strong offseason.

“We’re all very motivated to work hard now because the season didn’t go the way we wanted it to,” she said. “We’re ready to bounce back in the spring.”

Esborn isn’t the only player on the team that feels this way.

With Florida not competing again until Feb. 11, Perez feels like the Gators have potential moving forward.

“I think we can improve,” Perez said. “I see ourselves pushing each other and trying to give the best that we have right now. I see good things for the team.”

You can follow Tyler Nettuno on Twitter @TylerNettuno, and contact him at tnettuno@alligator.org.

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