Fast starts haven't been one of the Gators' strengths this season.
But on Tuesday in St. George, Utah, the No. 26 UF women's golf team made it a strength and got off in a hurry with a team score of 36 over par in the first two rounds of the BYU Dixie Classic.
"In the first round we had three good scores and in the second round we might have gotten a little too comfortable with the course and when that happens it can come back to bite you," coach Jill Briles-Hinton said.
Their score was good enough for third place, which marks the first time the team has been in the top five after the first day of an event all spring.
Freshman Andrea Watts shot 5 over par during the first two rounds. Both were played Tuesday. She is currently tied for the seventh-best individual score and is seven shots behind first place.
Meanwhile, sophomore Jessica Yadloczky had a first-day score of 8 over par. In the first round, she shot 1 over par but could not maintain her strong play in the second round of the day when she shot 7 over par.
The wind grew stronger during the second round of play which did not help Yadloczky.
"The wind really picked up in the second round, it was like we were in wind tunnels," Briles-Hinton said.
The other three UF golfers, Nicole Schachner, Evan Jensen and Lauren Uzelatz, shot a combined score of 48 over par.
Jensen could not escape her early tournament struggles and now has a troubling combined score of 52 over par after two rounds of every event this spring.
With this being the first time playing on this course for most of the team, Tuesday was an encouraging sign.
"They learned a lot about a mountain golf course today and they learned a lot about themselves,"she said. "Hopefully they can put everything together tomorrow and we can have an excellent finish."
The Gators will be back on the golf course in the final round of the Dixie Classic on Wednesday.