On an opening day of the NCAA Championships that saw few teams shoot negative, the Florida women’s golf team wasn’t one of them.
The Gators ended their day with a disappointing 299 (+11) total, only good enough to leave the course tied for 15th on the team leaderboard.
“It’s not the most typical start we wanted,” coach Emily Bastel said in a release.
The Gators faced adversity early. Three of the Florida’s five golfers had a bogey or worse within the first three holes of their round. Some – like Anna Young – were unable to recover.
Young finished a rocky day by carding an 80 (+8), tying for seventh worse in the field. Her lone birdie was one of only seven recorded by the Gators on Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough to offset five bogeys and two double bogeys.
“In team golf, you need everybody to come ready to play, especially in the national championship, and that’s what we’ll be looking for tomorrow,” Bastel said.
Senior Mia Piccio and sophomore Camilla Hedberg came ready to play Tuesday. Piccio, who has competed at the UGA Golf Course in each of her four years at UF, turned in a 73 (+1), tying with Hedberg for Florida’s best individual score.
Piccio started the day on the 10th tee and navigated her first 10 holes without incident until she tallied bogey on hole No. 2. A birdie earned on the sixth hole wasn’t enough to even out her round as she recorded a bogey on her next hole.
Hedberg had an erratic first round. She started strong with consecutive birdies on her second and third holes. Then, she bogeyed her eighth, 11th and 12th holes. After a birdie brought Hedberg back to even par, a bogey on the final hole placed her on the wrong side of par to end the day.
“Mia and Camilla did play well today, but it was tough finding birdies out there today and I thought they did a good job of staying patient,” Bastel said. “We’ll just need a little bit of help tomorrow from the rest of the team and show the depth that we have.”
UF golfer Mia Piccio carries her bag at the Betsy Rawls Invitational on Nov. 2, 2011. Piccio carded a 73 (+1) in Florida's first round at the NCAA Championships on Tuesday at the UGA Golf Course.