In a year that had its fair share of successes compounded by light disappointment, the Gators women’s golf team ultimately watched its season come to a devastating close on Tuesday morning.
Facing Arizona State in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship in Sugar Grove, Illinois, Florida fell to the Sun Devils 5-0 in a contest that only ever saw one Gator lead its head-to-head matchup.
The loss concluded a season that featured five first place finishes, including an SEC championship, as well as a tie for first in the NCAA Regional.
Even with the letdown in match play, senior Maria Torres was honored as a First-Team All-American by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association the very same day. This is the first time since 2007 that a Gators women’s golfer earned the accolade. Senior Kelly Grassel and junior Taylor Tomlinson earned honorable mentions as well.
The Gators were no strangers to comebacks this year. In the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championships, Florida’s first first tournament of the 2016-17 season, the women came back from being down seven strokes against eventual runner-up Illinois in the final round to win the competition by five strokes. The Gators also sat in third place after day one of the SEC Championship in Birmingham, Alabama, before posting team scores of 8-under and 10-under in rounds two and three, respectively, to beat second-place Alabama by 13 strokes.
All of this goes without mentioning the massive comeback in the NCAA Championships where - in a rain-shortened week of play - the Gators managed to climb the leaderboard from 16th place to 5th place in two days to narrowly make it to match play.
Coach Emily Glaser returns Tomlinson and a slew of talented underclassmen to next season’s roster, and said the team ought to be proud of what it accomplished in the 2016-17 campaign.
“We had a great year,” Glaser said in a release. “You never want it to end, but we have a lot to be proud of and no one should be hanging their heads.”
Contact Morgan McMullen at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MorganMcMuffin.
Taylor Tomlinson putts during the 2015 Suntrust Gator Invitational at the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville.