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Friday, January 28, 2022
<p>Maria Torres tees off during the 2015 SunTrust Gator Invitational at UF's Mark Bostick Golf Course.</p>

Maria Torres tees off during the 2015 SunTrust Gator Invitational at UF's Mark Bostick Golf Course.

The first day of the Southeastern Conference Tournament ended Friday with No. 8 Florida in second place at 4 over par..

The front nine featured the Gators trailing first-place Alabama, staying only a stroke behind for most of the nine-hole battle.

"Overall, it was a solid start. We left a few out there for sure, but I am pleased with our attitudes and I know we've got more in the tank for the last couple of days,” coach Emily Glaser said in a release. “It will be a battle, but we are up for the challenge."

Juniors Maria Torres and Kelly Grassel were the highlight of UF’s lineup.

Grassel played a bogey free first-nine, marking a birdie in the third hole to keep her under par.  The Michigan transfer kicked off her back-nine with a birdie, but followed it up with back-to-back bogeys.

A birdie in the 15th and one in her final hole of the day put Grassel in a tie for third, and inched the Gators closer to Alabama.

Meanwhile, Torres led the leaderboards, as she carded three birdies on the front nine. The Puerto Rico native managed an even back-nine with two bogeys and two birdies, one in her final hole of the day.

"Today, I was just playing hole-by-hole,” Torres said. “Heading into the weekend, I plan to stay patient, and just focus on playing golf."

Freshman Samantha Wagner, who led the team at the Briar’s Creek and Clemson Invitationals, found herself in a tie for 32nd place at the end of the round. Wagner was at even par going into the 10th hole, but four bogeys on the back nine weighed the freshman down to 4 over par.

Juniors Karolina Vlckova and sophomore Taylor Tomlinson both finished at 5 over par. Tomlinson improved between the front and back nine, but her day was littered with bogeys. The Gainesville native carded more bogeys than even holes in Friday’s round. Birdies on the 13th and 18th hole however, mitigated the four bogeys on the back nine.

Vlckova’s first round was stained by a double bogey in the 14th hole. Going into the back-nine, a stroke over par, the junior was able to get through three holes at even par, until she hit the 13th hole. A bogey followed up a double bogey marred the junior’s back nine, while a birdie in the 15th hole briefly gave Vlckova hope. Vlckova sits in a tie for 39th place.

Florida will tee off the second round today at 10:40 a.m.

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Maria Torres tees off during the 2015 SunTrust Gator Invitational at UF's Mark Bostick Golf Course.

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