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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 Gators find themselves in Baton Rouge today to participate in today’s NCAA Regional Championship hosted by LSU.

Florida will hit the links at the par 72, 6,258-yard University Club Golf Club, playing for the first time since the Southeastern Conference Championship in April, where the team secured second after a battle with Alabama for the title.

“We have had really good preparations leading into Regionals,” coach Emily Glaser said in a release, “and I know the team is excited and ready.”

Junior Maria Torres led the team, earning first place and marking a collegiate-best 9 under par.  Her score was the second-lowest in UF program history and matched the SEC Championship record for the lowest 54-hole score.

Due to her success throughout the year, highlighted by her SEC title, Torres was named the SEC Player of the Year on Tuesday and received First Team All-SEC honors. Torres holds a 71.83 stroke average, the lowest scoring average in the SEC.

Joining Torres in Baton Rouge will be junior Kelly Grassel, who finished tied for 11th at the SEC tournament, freshman Samantha Wagner, who was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team, junior Karolina Vlckova and sophomore Taylor Tomlinson who both picked up Second Team All-SEC honors.

At last year’s NCAA Regionals, UF failed to crack the top-six, finishing in eighth place, ending the team’s season. Only Vlckova managed to make it to the NCAA Championship where she placed 73rd.

This season, however, Glaser has led the Gators to an unprecedented six titles, the most titles claimed in a season since the 1985-86 season, the last season UF won the NCAA Championship.

But the field will be loaded today.

No. 6 Florida will tee off against five other top-25 teams, including No. 5 Duke and No. 7 Arizona State. The last time the three teams met on the green was at the Northrop-Grumman Regional Challenge in February. The Gators finished third, the only time they did not claim a title in the Spring regular season, while the Blue Devils and the Sun Devils finished fifth and seventh, respectively.

All three teams will be returning the same lineups they brought to the Northrop-Grumman Regional Challenge, which includes Arizona State’s Monica Vaughn who won the individual title at the challenge and Duke’s Leona Maguire who finished tied for 8th. Both Vaughn and Maguire finished above any Florida’s Vlckova, who place 10th and led the team.

“With this being a qualifier we want to make sure we play smart and stay patient,” Glaser said. “But there is no question our goal is to win, and take some momentum with us heading to Oregon."

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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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