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Saturday, February 24, 2024

It wasn't particularly pretty. There weren't any splashy numbers fired this weekend.

But the consistent game the UF women?s golf team played at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Classic in Knoxville, Tenn., was enough to win the Gators their first tournament title of the year.

BYou can?t get greedy on this golf course, because the course is very difficult,C UF coach Jill Briles-Hinton said.

So the Gators played smart, patient golf and came in at 13-over during their three rounds, five shots clear of second-place Purdue.

BRegardless of what number they took, they stayed dedicated to their mental goals,C Briles-Hinton said. B(Our key) was discipline, and the will to win.C

Briles-Hinton said the win has been long overdue for the Gators.

Senior Sandra Gal led UF, shooting no worse than even-par 71 over her three days, tied Auburn?s Cydney Clanton for the lead. Gal defeated Clanton in a playoff to capture medalist honors.

She credited her fundamentals with consistently putting and keeping the ball in play for her success.

BI played solid in all of my game,C said Gal, a two-time All-American.

Gal, whose 69 was the only sub-70 score of the Gators? tournament, was aided by gritty performances from up and down UF?s rotation. The quartet of Whitney Myers, Jessica Yadloczky, Ornella Jouven and Tiffany Chudy failed to break 70, but also recorded no rounds over 76 on the par-71 course as the Gators recorded three rounds under 290.

Myers and Yadloczky both notched top-20 finishes: senior Myers tied for 10th at three-over, with freshman Yadloczky four shots back in a tie for 15th. Redshirt junior Jouven tied for 27th at nine-over, and senior Chudy rounded out the UF effort in a tie for 53rd at 14-over.

Redshirt freshman Nicole Schachner, competing as an individual, tied for 86th at twenty-six-over.

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Briles-Hinton has been high on her team from the season?s outset, and now her squad is beginning to share her views.

Gal, for one, sees confidence as the way to possible Southeastern Conference and NCAA championships, goals that Briles-Hinton has said this team has the talent to accomplish.

"We need to believe in ourselves,C Gal said. BThis win definitely was a help.C

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