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Friday, January 28, 2022

This week might prove to be a glimpse into the future for the Gators.

The No. 26 UF women's golf team will begin play at the Dixie Classic in St. George, Utah, on Tuesday, swinging on the same course where NCAA Regionals will be held in 2011.

"Playing on this course is going to help the team because regionals are going to be hosted there in a couple of years," sophomore Jessica Yadloczky said. "We are actually going there to get a view of the course for regionals so we will be prepared."

But this advantage comes with a price. The course is on a desert in Utah and has lava rock lining the fairways and greens.

The Gators have yet to play on a course like this all season, which could prove to be a severe disadvantage for the team.

"A lot of the courses that we've played on have been lush greens and tree-lined," Yadloczky said.

UF will be the only team from the east coast to play in the event, which is something the Gators will have to adjust to.

"I think it's going to be an eye-opening experience just because it's definitely a different layout than our course that we have here," Yadloczky said.

If UF is going to have success this week, the team will have to play consistent golf, something freshman Evan Jensen has struggled to do. Throughout the spring season she has scored drastically better in the final round of each event.

Jensen has shot a combined score of 40 over par in the first two rounds of each tournament in the spring, but she has shot a combined score of 1 under par in the final round of each event.

"Evan has been working really hard on it," Yadloczky said. "She has been playing more, so when she gets out there, it's easier for her to score right off the bat."

The Gators' lineup for the tournament will consist of Yadloczky, Jensen, Andrea Watts, Lauren Uzelatz and Nicole Schachner.

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Yadloczky said this week's event will be used to send a message to other teams around the nation.

"Knowing we are the only SEC team in this tournament, we know we have to make a stand toward other teams because they are going to be at nationals as well," she said.

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