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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Golf may be an individual sport, but the Gators are going to need a better team effort if they are going to succeed this season.

On Sunday in the first round of the Kiawah Island Intercollegiate in South Carolina, the UF women's golf team turned in a disappointing performance of 21 over par. The team finished tied for eighth place, nine shots behind the top of the leaderboard.

Much like the first tournament of the season in Palos Verdes, Calif., sophomore Jessica Yadloczky was the only golfer for the Gators to have a good day. She shot 1 over par, the fifth-best individual score of the day.

"When you only have one good individual score, the team is going to suffer," coach Jill Briles-Hinton said.

The other four UF golfers had a rough time in South Carolina.

Andrea Watts shot 5 over par, while Lauren Uzelatz had a first-round score of 7 over par. The two combined for 14 bogeys and one double bogey on the day.

Evan Jensen and Nicole Schachner had the worst performances of the day for the Gators. The two golfers shot a score of 8 over par and 12 over par, respectively.

While some will say an eighth-place finish in a 43-team field is not bad, the Gators will tell you otherwise. UF came into South Carolina as the top-ranked team in the field but did not perform up to its ranking Sunday.

"We came into this tournament knowing that we were the best, and the first round put some fire back in our bellies," Yadloczky said. "I think we kind of got put back in our place."

The Gators will have two more rounds to move up the leaderboard and attempt to catch first-place Miami.

Briles-Hinton, a Miami graduate, made it clear she was not at all happy for her alma mater's first-round performance.

"Graduate or not, I'm a Gator," she said. "This week I'm a Gator."

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