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Sunday, September 24, 2023

As the UF women's golf team prepares for its first tournament of the season this weekend with the Preview Invitational, the team will try to dwell on successes from last year.

This past season saw the team capture its first Southeastern Conference title since 1995. The SEC title also marked the first in coach Jill Briles-Hinton's tenure at UF.

In addition to being crowned SEC champs, the team pulled out a first-place finish in the NCAA East Regional, beating the No.1 seed Duke by one stroke.

If the team hopes to repeat last year's success and win its first national championship trophy in 22 years, it will have to be on the shoulders of Jessica Yadloczky and company.

Those shoulders will also be burdened by the graduation of Tiffany Chudy, who finished seventh in the NCAA East Regional with a 2-over 218. It was the highest Gator finish.

Chudy also made the five-man rotation in each match last season.

Although the departure of a cornerstone piece will be tough to ignore, Yadloczky feels confident.

Over the summer, she was a member of the Team USA that beat Japan in the Fuji Xerox USA vs. Japan Collegiate Golf Championship.

"Of course the international traveling and playing with people that are from a totally different culture was a whole other experience," she said. "I played really well.

"Just the whole team-bonding thing I think got me ready for the new team here at Florida."

Yadloczky also said that as a sophomore, she now knows how to manage her time and that will help her focus this weekend.

She certainly is thinking positive about the upcoming tournament. "I think we're going to do really well," she said. "I'm thinking of the best."

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Yadloczky won't be the only one teeing off. Look for strong performances by Hannah Yun, redshirt senior Ornella Jouven and sophomore Nicole Schachner who made the five-man rotation in the NCAA East Regional.

On an individual level, Yadloczky thinks she can put together the pieces to get a top-5 and perhaps a first-place finish.

"I can just strictly worry about my team and what I need to do," she said.

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