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Thursday, May 26, 2022

It was a sister act for the Florida women’s golf team Tuesday in its final round at the Central District Invitational.

Sophomore Marika Lendl and sister, freshman Isabelle, finished the tournament in a tie for first place, both with a three-round score of 212, four-under par in the Gators’ first place finish with a total of 857 (290-281-286, -7)

Isabelle, however, claimed the tournament title after she beat her older sister in a scorecard playoff. The winner was determined from the golfer’s score on the last nine holes.

“It was so fun to watch them [the Lendl sisters] all day,” UF coach Jan Dowling said. “It was an incredible scene. I don’t think it has been done before where two sisters tie for first in a college event…they were both so composed down the stretch, they deserve it.

“They’ve worked hard and it was really great to see them handle some pressure.”

The duo battled to the end, making even the scorecard playoff intense. Marika went into her final nine with a lower score than her sister, shooting one-under. Isabelle struggled on the back nine after back-to-back bogeys but redeemed herself with three birdies and an eagle to cap off the round. Isabelle wound up topping her sister by shooting a three-under final nine.

As a squad, UF finished seven strokes under par and 29 strokes ahead of the second-place finisher, TCU.

“This week was truly a team effort,” Dowling said. “Everyone played well, we had everyone in the top 20, which is a testament to our team depth. That is what a team requires to be successful down the stretch. We are obviously very excited about this win, it was a great win and it is going to motivate us to continue working hard for the later parts of the spring season.”

All around, Florida had strong performances from its golfers.

Freshman Mia Piccio scored a personal best with two career-low rounds and the highest finish of her career, a tie for fourth. Piccio finished three rounds carding 217 (72-73-72, +1).

Sophomore Evan Jensen also notched a new personal best, finishing 54 holes with a total score of 218 (71-72-75, +2). Jensen beat her previous best of 221, which she shot at the 2008 Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge. Jensen finished in a tie for seventh.

Junior Jessica Yadloczky rounded out the Gators’ lineup, finishing in 18th. She had her lowest score Tuesday and totaled 223 (76-74-73, +7) in three rounds.

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