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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Tuesday was a step in the right direction for the UF women's golf team but also a step back.

The Gators shot 25 over par Tuesday in the second round of the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif., a 16-shot improvement from Monday's first round.

Despite that turnaround, the Gators fell even further back on the leaderboard and are now 35 strokes behind first-place Arizona State in seventh place.

The one constant was sophomore Jessica Yadloczky, who matched her first-round score of 4 over par. She moved up on the individual leaderboard, tying for fifth place.

"I've really stuck with my goals for the week," Yadloczky said. "I've been concentrating not on my physical game but on my goals I set out before I came to the tournament."

The weather was much better than in round one, helping the other three golfers achieve lower scores.

Freshman Andrea Watts made the biggest jump from the first round. Her second-round score of 5 over par translated into a six-shot improvement from Monday's score. She finished the day strong with her only birdie coming on the last hole.

Lauren Uzelatz and Evan Jensen also had much better rounds on Tuesday. Uzelatz shot a second-round score of 10 over par while Jensen shot 6 over par. Both golfers made a five-shot improvement.

These lower scores were in most part due to the clearer weather, Watts said.

"A lot of it had to do with the weather, a lot of it also had to do with how upset we were with our performance yesterday," she said. "We were fired up, ready to improve, and ready to play better today."

The team will not rest after Tuesday's better performances.

"I think it's motivating," Watts said. "We need to work harder and move forward, just try to improve for tomorrow."

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The Gators will go with the same lineup for the tournament's final round Wednesday as they used Tuesday.

Marika Lendl will still not be available for the third round.

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