After one round of play in the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif., the Florida women’s golf team finished tenth overall.
The team carded a 304, 20 strokes over par and 20 strokes behind the number-one seed, Southern California.
“This golf course is everything you could ask for,” coach Jan Dowling said. “You’ve got to drive the ball great, you’ve got to hit great iron shots and position yourself in the right place. The greens are really fast and well protected so you’ve got to chip a putt really well. To come out and play this as your first round of tournament golf for the spring is a challenge.”
Despite a foot injury, junior Jessica Yadloczky rose to that challenge, leading the Gators with a Round 1 total of 73 (+2). She is currently 12th in the tournament. Yadloczky came out strong, in her third appearance on this course, shooting an even par on her first seven holes of the back nine but followed up with back-to-back bogeys.
“[Yadloczky] came out ready to play,” Dowling said. “She had been nursing a foot injury, so for her to come out and play the way she did today is great. She feels really comfortable on this course, it’s her third year playing [in Palos Verdes] and it’s the kind of course that requires playing quite a few rounds of golf to get comfortable on. She took advantage of that and I look forward to watching her play the next few days.”
Following four strokes behind their team leader, sophomores Marika Lendl and Evan Jensen and freshman Mia Piccio each carded scores of 77 (+6). The trio is currently tied for 39th place.
Lendl and Jensen started out strong with three even par holes, but started to struggle on the next two holes with a double bogey and a bogey.
Lendl went on to make two birdies, another bogey and finished the round with a double bogey.
Jensen finished with two birdies, three bogeys, and another double bogey to end her day.
“There are definitely things that each one of our players can improve on,” Dowling said. “We’re just going to take it shot-by-shot and day-by-day. That’s really what I thought was positive today, that they did stay positive out there, which is hard to do on such a tough golf course.”
Coming in last for the Gators was freshman Isabelle Lendl who carded 79 (+8) and tied for 55th. She recorded a bogey on three of her first five holes and entered the next nine at three over. She finished her round with a double bogey and three more bogeys.