At the beginning of the Fall season, there were very few questions to be asked about how well the Gators women’s golf team would play.
This was coming off of senior Maria Torres’ first place finish at the Southeastern Conference Championship, and a tied-for-first place team finish at the NCAA Regional Championship.
But then, Florida added two more freshmen ready to contribute to a team returning all five players from last season.
This made the fall essentially a qualifying for the spring, when the Gators will need their best five playing.
And over the course of four tournaments, the Gators played eight different golfers.
“Early in the spring, we’ll still be doing a lot of qualifying to try to identify who are the ones that are really separating the group over the course of the season,” coach Emily Glaser said. “A little bit of that plays into what they did this fall, but certainly we just rub the slate clean and start over again in the spring with some qualifiers that will show us who’s playing the best at the time.”
Glaser also said that it’s the fact that the Gators have so many golfers that can compete that shows just how strong this team really is.
This rotating lineup came with a little success, as well.
The Gators took the title at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship, and placed within the top-five in every tournament.
And this was all with a different lineup each time.
This added to, what Glaser referred to as, the difficult stretch of the Fall schedule.
During it, the Gators went against over 20 ranked teams and played in harsher environments than what the team was used to.
Florida even played in the Windy City Classic in Evanston, Illinois, which is close to the site of the NCAA Championship in Sugar Grove.
“I thought (the Windy City Classic) was particularly important event to attend this year, as the national championship is about and hour and a half down the road this year in the greater Chicago area,” Glaser said. “Anytime we can get on bentgrass greens, I think that’s going to prepare our team for what we’re going to see in the spring.”
But as Glaser keeps referring to, the Spring season is where it really matters.
The spring has the SEC Championship, the NCAA Regionals and the NCAA Championship, as well as six events the Gators are participating in.
That’s a lot of time for Florida to set its final lineup, and a lot of time to determine the future of this Gator team.
According to Glaser, there is still plenty of time for the Gators to establish who their starting five should be, and the Fall season was their first opportunity.
Maria Torres tees off during the 2015 SunTrust Gator Invitational at UF's Mark Bostick Golf Course.