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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Plenty of excuses could’ve been made for No. 10 Florida at the Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate, considering heavy rain was a problem all weekend and the team was coming off its worst performance of the season last week.

UF made no excuses, though, as the Gators and sophomore Clara Manzalini both took home first place in New Orleans this Tuesday.

Manzalini was able to get the first collegiate win of her career in dramatic fashion.

She came into the final day in 15th place, trailing the leader Anna Backman by four strokes. That all changed after a dominant final round in which she shot six-under par and tied for first place.

“I'm very happy about the win, especially because it was my first one as a Gator. My game was very solid, and I have been very patient on the course these past three days,” Manzalini said in a release. “It's great to see all the work paying off.”

Manzalini wasn’t the only Gator who saw their hard work pay off. All five UF golfers finished within the top-15 of the individual leaderboard and the team collectively won by 16 strokes.

One of those top-15 finishers was junior Addie Baggarly, who shot under par all weekend and tied for third place after ending the final round five-under par.

Another great performance came from freshman Marina Escobar Domingo, who had the first top-ten finish of her career, tying for eighth place after shooting a career-best three-under par.

The other freshman, Annabell Fuller, also had a great weekend, shooting a career-best 3-under par in the second round. She ended up shooting two-under par for the tournament and tied for 14th individually.

The last of the five golfers was senior Marta Perez, who ended the tournament tied for 10th place at three-under par, her 13th top-ten finish in her career.

“We played really solid golf from one to five which is great to see. And each player made some really nice adjustments from last week in California,” coach Emily Glaser said in a release. “To see them commit to doing that so quickly is a great sign for this group.”

UF will hope to ride the momentum from this win into the Gators Invitational, which the team will be hosting in Gainesville on March 7.

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Follow Christian on Twitter @Berry05219 and contact him at cberry@alligator.org.

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