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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

If only it hadn't been for that third round.

The UF women's golf team finished in 10th place with a total score 894 (30+) after a disappointing third round that dropped the team three spots from the second round.

"I thought we could've done much better than that," coach Jill Briles-Hinton said.

The Mason Rudolph Women's Championship in Franklin, Tenn., proved to be deceivingly difficult as time wore on.

The scorecards alone tell the tall tale of the progression from round one to round three.

Of the five golfers, four shot their worst score of the tournament in, you guessed it, the third round.

"We had a bad third round," Briles-Hinton said. "It's just a physical anomaly. Sometimes it happens."

Freshman Evan Jensen went from a solid 1-over-par performance in each of her first two rounds to shooting 3 over par in the third round.

Despite the score, Jensen led the Gators for the second straight tournament and finished at 5 over par for the tournament. In that third round, she tallied six bogeys, including five on the front nine.

"I was happy with those two rounds," Jensen said. "I just felt like I was going to do really well today, and I just disappointed myself with the front nine.

"I hit a few bad shots early and I think I lost my confidence. It was just downhill."

She rallied back, shooting four birdies on the back nine to settle at 3 over par.

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"I played the back nine like I was hoping to play the whole round," she said. "I'm glad I turned it around and woke up."

Sophomore Hannah Yun also heightened her score by a stroke in the third round.

Brittany Nelson saw her score suffer even more, shooting 7 over in the troublesome round.

Hardest hit, though, was easily Jessica Yadloczky who went from shooting 1 under the first day to even-par in round two to, surprisingly, 8 over par on Sunday.

"Jessica's just striking the ball. It was just a bad day for her," Hinton said.

Added Yadloczky: "I'm disappointed. We played well the first two days, and today we kind of let the wind and everything take us and put a little pressure on all of us."

In order to prevent a similar debacle in the future, Yadloczky said she just has to work on her mental game. She also hopes to fix her putting before the next tournament, which she said was "struggling."

Freshman Andrea Watts was the only one immune to the symptoms of the third round. Her worst round was the first round, where she shot 6 over par. She lowered that score by two strokes, shooting 4 over in the next two rounds.

Regardless, Hinton isn't at all worried about the numerical finish.

"Even though the scoreboard looks like we went backwards, we're making progress," she said.

Hinton firmly believes that if her team can just strengthen the short game, it can not only compete in postseason play, but it can win.

"We know we have the rounds in us," Yadloczky said. "We just have to put the pieces together for three straight days."

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