In her debut for the Florida women’s golf team, freshman Marta Perez was ready to showcase the skills that got her to where she is now.
And in her first tournament as a Gator, she showed why she got the start.
Perez was one of three Gators to finish within the top-10 — joining sophomore Sam Wagner and senior Kelly Grassel — and finished at 1 over par after the first two rounds for a share of 10th place,
The No. 7 Gators opened the season on Monday at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee, finishing third after shooting 2 over par.
“We had a good start in the morning, I thought we looked really strong early in the day,” coach Emily Glaser said in a release.
Grassel got off to a great start, nailing five birdies and just two bogeys in the first round.
She followed that up with two birdies and two bogeys in the second round, tallying her score at 3 under par on the day, good for a share of fourth place and the only Gator to finish below par.
As for the sole UF freshman, Perez never fell too far behind.
She recorded two birdies and two bogeys in the first round, and added five birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey in the second round to end the day at 1 over par.
Wagner also finished the day tied for tenth, hitting five birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey over two rounds to score 1 over par.
Junior Taylor Tomlinson failed to fall below par once over the two rounds.
She tallied four birdies, but also added seven bogeys to place her score at 3 over par and in a tie for 24th.
Senior Sydney Needham just couldn’t get going.
In the first round, she hit seven bogeys, a double bogey and just one birdie. The second round was a slight improvement, only hitting four bogeys and two birdies to end the day at 10 over par in a tie for 60th.
“It was a good learning experience overall, and there is no doubt that this is an exceptionally talented team,” Glaser said.
“We are still within striking distance tomorrow and with a solid round we have a chance to win the tournament.”
The Gators tee off in the final round of the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championships on Tuesday starting at 9 a.m.
Karolina Vlckova (right) celebrates with coach Emily Glaser during the 2015 SunTrust Gator Invitational at UF's Mark Bostick Golf Course.