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Friday, May 20, 2022

Florida began the second round of the Southeastern Conference Championship facing a six-stroke gap between them and first-place Alabama. Through a hard-fought 18-holes, the Gators chipped away at the Crimson Tide’s lead, culminating in a tie for first place at 2-over par.

“Every girl on this team battled all the way to the very end, and I am so proud of their determination,” coach Emily Glaser said in a release. “I am thankful for the opportunity the team has tomorrow. We know it will be a battle, but we are excited for the chance to compete for an SEC title.”

In the second round, UF saw significant improvement in its back-nine play. Juniors Karolina Vlckova and Maria Torres both carded two under-par, while the rest of the lineup stayed even, for the nine-hole finish. Compared to last round’s back-nine, which saw Vlckova and freshman Samantha Wagner card four over-par, Saturday’s finish led to the Gators making strides towards the title.

However, the second round was off to a rough start for some on Florida’s lineup.

Juniors Kelly Grassel and Vlckova carded three and seven over-par respectively. For Grassel, the issue was once again littered bogeys across the front-nine. Starting the day with a bogey, the Michigan State transfer mitigated the damage with a birdie in the third before notching two consecutive bogeys with a third on the seventh hole. Grassel fell to a tie for sixth place.

For Karolina, her first nine holes marred her under-par back-nine. The junior started off the second round under par, marking a birdie in her first hole. Unfortunately, the front-nine got significantly worse from there. On the next hole, Karolina marked her second double-bogey of the tournament.

And then another one on the fifth hole.

Going from bad to worse, two consecutive bogeys followed on the next two holes.

Vlckova finished her front-nine with another double bogey.

Going seven over-par into the back-nine, Vlckova was able to bring herself back to a round score of five over-par, matching her first round score.

At the other end of the leaderboards, junior Maria Torres held on to her first-place standing. Torres carded another under-par round, this time marking a final round score of four under-par.

Torres stands six strokes above second place.

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“Maria was very solid today, very poised. She will go do her thing tomorrow and compete hard for herself and for our team.” Glaser said.

Rounding out the squad, Wagner and sophomore Taylor Tomlinson both shaved five strokes off their first round scores, respectively climbing 18 and 19 places up the leaderboard.

Florida will play the final round of the tournament Sunday, beginning at 10:40 a.m.

Contact Alfredo Morales at amorales@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @amorales_95

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