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Saturday, April 13, 2024
W Golf
W Golf

It wasn’t the trailblazing, birdie-filled golf that was good enough for third place in last week’s season-opener, but the Gators women’s golf team still managed to capture its first win of the season at the Glass City Invitational.

Senior Sierra Brooks, redshirt junior Elin Esborn, junior Addie Baggarly and freshman Marina Escobar Domingo finished in the top 20 individually. The squad also bested three ranked programs in No. 15 Northwestern, No. 16 Illinois and No. 19 Michigan State en route to a four-shot triumph in Toledo, Ohio.

Florida held a share of the lead after a first round 286 (-2), the result of a 2-under 70 from Esborn and a pair of 71s by Brooks and fellow senior Marta Perez. Monday afternoon’s second round proved to be the most difficult, however, and the Gators struggled to a 7-over 295 performance once the famed Inverness Club finally showed its brunt.

Regardless, the Gators took a two-stroke lead into Tuesday’s final round, just ahead of next-best Michigan State. On the difficult par-72 championship layout, where the game’s best had competed in years past, Florida played seamless go-ahead golf to earn itself the win.

Baggarly constructed a brilliant final-round 67 after sloppy scores of 78 and 77 in her first two loops, finishing tied for 19th. The junior’s score marks a new career-best and shifted the team’s momentum, finishing her round at a time when Florida was only slightly in the lead.

From there, the Gators needed only to avoid disaster.

Escobar Domingo and Esborn stumbled to final rounds of 73 and 75, respectively, but still managed to finish among the top 20 on the leaderboard. Brooks finished alone in second place individually after a final round 74, now her second top five finish in as many events.

All is well for the women after topping quality teams in Ohio this week. As for now, the Gators will continue to build its recent strong form at home before making the trek to Evanston, Illinois, in two weeks for the Windy City Collegiate hosted by Northwestern.

Follow Jack Braverman @jack_braverman. Contact him at jbraverman@alligator.org.

 

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