Going into the 18th hole of the second and final round of the Florida Challenge in Lecanto, Florida, on Monday, UF women’s golfer Sierra Brooks knew she needed to give her team a boost. In a tie for first with Miami’s Dewi Weber, Brooks slammed a shot all the way to the green to set up an eagle attempt.
While her ensuing putt barely rimmed out, she tapped in her next shot for a birdie to clinch an individual win in the event.
Although Brooks’ timely putt capped off a breakout debut, the Gators (+7) finished second in the tournament, losing to Miami by a single stroke.
Brooks, a transfer from Wake Forest, sat near or at the top of the leaderboard for the duration of the tournament. She shot 6 under par on the day, shooting 5 under in the second round of the par-72 course.
Brooks was followed by teammates Carlotta Ricolfi (+3) and Taylor Tomlinson (+4), who tied for ninth and 11th, respectively. The scoring five was rounded out by Marta Perez (+6), who finished tied for 16th and Addie Baggarly (+8) who finished tied for 24th.
Florida also had two golfers play individually. Redshirt freshman Elin Esborn finished tied for 11th with a 4 over par, and freshman Lauren Waidner finished tied for 34th with a 10 over par.
Had Florida inserted Esborn into the starting lineup in place of Perez or Baggarly, it would have won the event.
Coach Emily Glaser was pleased with her team’s play, but said it lacked unity in the second-place finish.
“We needed more of a team effort today to win,” Glaser said in a release. “Overall, we needed to play with more discipline and maturity. I think that held us back more than anything. Certainly some things to improve on but we are up to the task.”
Next weekend, Florida travels to Palos Verde, California, to compete in the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge.
A story from floridagators.com contributed to this report.