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Friday, January 28, 2022

A season that proved to be a learning experience for the young UF women's golf team came to a disappointing end on Saturday with a reminder that there is still a lot of growing to do.

After a consistent season of top 10 finishes, the Gators turned in their worst performance of the year in this weekend's NCAA East Regional on their home course. The team shot 68 over par, putting them in 16th place a year after coming out on top of the 2008 East Regional.

Only the top eight teams advanced to the NCAA Championship. UF finished 19 strokes behind the final qualifier, eighth-seeded Georgia (49 over).

Denver finished with a score of 22 over par to win the regional tournament.

Not even the advantage of playing on Gainesville's Mark Bostick Golf Course could help the Gators.

Sophomore Jessica Yadloczky, who finished in the top ten as an individual in the last five tournaments, could not keep her streak going.

After an uncharacteristic finish of 76th place with a score of 22 over par, Yadloczky summarized the team's performance in two words.

"We sucked," she said.

Yadloczky attributed her poor performance to the excessive amount of pressure she put on herself.

"I wanted it way too bad, and it got in my way," she said. "I guess I'm learning the hard way - you can't want it this bad."

But all was not lost for the Gators.

Two freshmen, Evan Jensen and Andrea Watts, were the top performers for the team in this event. They shot 12 over par and 18 over, respectively.

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Even the disappointed Yadloczky found some positive things to carry into next season.

"We gained team bonding," she said. "We all came from different places, and we got to know each other and learned how to work together as a team this year."

With the entire team returning next season, this disappointing end to the season will leave a sour taste in the Gators' mouth which will motivate them that much more.

"This puts fire in our bellies, and this makes us work that much harder for next season," Yadloczky said.

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