The Gators women’s golf team finished the final round of the Evans Derby Experience strong, but its second round woes haunted it to a fifth-place finish.
The Gators carded an even-par 288 as a team for the second time this tournament in Auburn, Alabama, to solidify its seventh top-five finish this season. Its second round score of 304 (16 over) left Florida in a hole it couldn’t dig itself out of, moving up just one spot in the final day of the tournament.
“Our second round was a little bit of a fluke,” coach Emily Gaser said in a release. “We let it get away from us on Day 2 which hurt our chances to win. But we showed a lot of toughness this week, and we’ve had a tremendous amount of growth as a team in the last few weeks.”
Florida dominated the back nine with a flurry of birdies from all five lineup players which helped it hold on to fifth place. The Gators youth led the way with freshman Clara Manzalini playing like a seasoned veteran.
She carded a 1 under for the tournament, while sophomore Elin Esborn finished tied for 12th with a 3-over finish.
Manzalini finished with a team-best third place finish after shooting a 4-under 68 in the first round. Her remaining two rounds weren’t as dominant as she carded a combined 3 over, yet the freshman continues to impress after a 4-over finish at the Gator Invitational two weeks ago.
Esborn excelled during Monday’s final round, moving up 13 spots with a 1-under 71 — a tournament-best for her. Junior Sierra Brooks also found success on Monday, jumping up 17 spots for her third-consecutive top-25 finish.
“We played well this week,” Glaser said. “Clara was a bright spot for us this week for sure. She played very well and was poised beyond her freshman status. Really happy for her to have a solid tournament.”
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Florida golfer Sierra Brooks finished the Evans Derby Experience in Auburn, Alabama, tied for 25th with a score of 5 over.