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Monday, June 27, 2022

Florida is returning to Rocky Top after a yearlong hiatus.

The No. 8 Florida women's golf team will compete in the Mercedes-Benz Women's Collegiate Championship starting today and running through Sunday in Knoxville, Tenn.

The event will take place on the par-72 Fox Den Country Club.

The Gators have not competed in this tournament since 2007, when All-American Sandra Gal earned first-place individual honors. Junior Jessica Yadloczky will be the only Florida player making a return trip at the tournament. As a freshman, she finished in a tie for 15th in the competition.

"Experience counts for sure in this game," coach Jan Dowling said. "We are excited to have Jessica in the lineup. She is a great leader on our team, and she has prepared herself really well. … The experience that she has as a junior will be imperative."

Sophomore Evan Jensen, who finished in the top 10 at the Mason Rudolph Women's Championships, will lead the Gators. Jensen has had impressive showings in the first two tournaments of the season.

Jensen has a stroke average of 69.5 after two tournaments.

"She has played well the last two weeks and posted some great scores in our practice rounds," Dowling said. "She has a great mindset right now and a great feel for her swing and where her golf is at. It will be exciting to watch her play this week."

Freshman Mia Piccio will make her third appearance for UF in Knoxville; Piccio has qualified for all the tournaments the team has participated in thus far.

Piccio will be joined by fellow freshman Isabelle Lendl. Despite playing in the Hooters Match Play Championships in September, this will be Lendl's first stroke play tournament of the season.

"I think [Lendl] will do great," Dowling said. "She has prepared herself really well, and she has been playing stroke play tournaments for a long time. I'm sure she is excited, and we are excited that she is in the lineup for us."

The Gators will face a tough batch of competition this week, including No. 4 LSU, No. 12 Wake Forest, No. 18 South Carolina, No. 21 UT-Chattanooga and No. 24 Ohio State.

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