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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

That's more like what Jill Briles-Hinton was hoping for.

After going into the NCAA Championships with title hopes, the UF women's golf team got off to a very slow start, finishing 20th overall after Tuesday's first round.

But the Gators turned things around - a little bit, at least - in Wednesday's weather-troubled second round, moving up seven spots to the 13th spot.

Play was suspended for more than two hours as winds got up to more than 60 miles per hour. UF was only one of six teams able to finish its round. The remaining teams would finish play this morning at 7.

After the first day's struggles, the Gators will take whatever break they can get.

"The weather had a huge effect on the play today," Briles-Hinton said. "Coming from Florida, not only do we have to deal with the elevation of the course and the wind, but we need to adjust to the atmosphere. The ball usually goes about 10 yards further off the irons here, so it's difficult. They had to play smart and know where to land it, and our team did a great job of that today."

UF shot a second-round score of 299. The Gators have a total score of 600 (+24) after two days.

Redshirt Junior Ornella Jouven led UF with a par 72 as she nailed four birdies, three of which were on the final nine holes.

"The team really brought it back," Briles-Hinton said. "It was windy when they began and it worsened as they continued to play, but the team posted some solid rounds today."

Freshman Jessica Yadloczky is also playing older than her age, as she moved into 39th place, moving up 14 spots. She had two consecutive birdies on the 14th and 15th holes.

On the other hand, senior Tiffany Chudy, after finishing seventh overall at the Central Regionals, has struggled somewhat and is tied for 80th overall. She was able to make 13 pars, but her score was brought up with five bogeys.

Redshirt freshman Nicole Schachner was able to move up eight spots on the leaderboard and is currently 114th. She improved six strokes off of her first-round finish. Hannah Yun, also a freshman, hasn't been able to keep the momentum going from her solid regionals, as she's currently +12 and is tied for 104th. Briles-Hinton has given Yun and Yadloczky credit for helping the team's mental toughness, which has been a big help for the team's success this season.

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Southern California and UCLA are currently tied for first with scores of 584 (+8). The Southeastern Conference does have some better representation with Alabama (+8) in third place and Arkansas (+14) tied for sixth.

The Trojans' Belen Mozo is the leading individual, shooting an impressive 140 (-4) through two days.

Play will continue through today and conclude on Friday.

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