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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Florida women’s golf places second at Liz Murphey Collegiate

Florida Freshman Inés Archer and Paula Francisco continued their strong play finishing tied for second and tied for seventh

Sophomore Marina Escobar hits a drive at the Gators Invitational in February. The Gators are set to compete at the NCAA Regionals in Stanford, California, this week.
Sophomore Marina Escobar hits a drive at the Gators Invitational in February. The Gators are set to compete at the NCAA Regionals in Stanford, California, this week.


Sitting in third place to start the final round of the Liz Murphey Collegiate, Florida women’s golf was looking to overtake its SEC counterparts ahead of them. With Auburn leading the way in first and Georgia in second, all three teams teed off together to battle it out for the win. 

The Gators battled their way ahead, matching Georgia’s five birdies on the front nine with five of their own. The Bulldogs struggled on the back nine, with five bogeys and a quadruple bogey to start. Florida seized the opportunity, tying Georgia at 8-over and overtaking it with three birdies on the final three holes. UF held on to secure the second place finish. 

The Florida Gators women’s golf team headed to Athens, Ga. this weekend to compete in its final regular season tournament, the Liz Murphey Collegiate Class. 

The Gators came into the tournament as the No. 15 team in the country and with the third best golfer in the country on their roster, senior Maisie Filler. They faced a field of 17 teams, including four SEC opponents. 

UF struggled in round one recording 21 teams bogeys, including 15 on the front nine and two double bogeys. Only one player, freshman Paula Francisco, ended the round in the top 15. 

Francisco finished tied for eleventh matching her three bogeys with three birdies for an on-par finishing score of 72. 

The Gators headed into round two with some ground to make up in sixth overall at 7-over and seven shots out of the lead. With Filler and fifth-year Marina Escobar at the back of the field, it was up to the freshmen to help UF make a comeback. 

Francisco continued her strong play in round two, starting with a birdie on her second hole. She recorded four more birdies throughout the round to just three bogeys. 

Inés Archer, another freshman, made up some ground in the second round, battling back from a 3-over finish in round one to put her tied for 32nd. She recorded six birdies to just one bogey on her way to a career-low round of 67, her first in the 60s. 

Both freshmen finished the day tied for fourth and led UF on the leaderboard. With their strong play, as well as an on-par round of 72 and T12 finish from fifth-year Jackie Lucena, Florida made its way up into third to conclude day one. 

Francisco started the round much like the one before going par-par-birdie on her first three holes to will her way into third place. Lucena also came out hot starting the same way as Francisco to put her tied for tenth after three. 

Archer bogeyed on her first hole but quickly matched it with a birdie on two. She remained bogey-less for the next six holes before bogeying again to end the front nine. 

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Francisco recorded just one bogey on her front nine but struggled to keep her momentum at the turn. She recorded two bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine with only one birdie to match on her way to a T7 finish. 

Despite the strong start, the front nine was a challenge for Lucena as she recorded three more bogeys before the turn. She turned her play around on the back nine going bogeyless to finish tied for 14th. 

Archer matched her bogey on hole nine with a birdie on ten. She recorded another birdie on the back nine on her way to finishing tied for second, the highest finish for the Gators and a personal career-best.

With the regular season over, Florida will look to carry this momentum to the SEC Championship at the Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Fla. The team will begin play there on April 12. 

Contact Hannah Getman at hgetman@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @hannahgetman.

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