Severe weather pummeling the Carolinas has seemingly affected everyone but the Gators women’s golf team.
Last year, it was Hurricane Florence whose torrential rain and winds to the Carolina coast shortened the College of Charleston-hosted Cougar Classic to just 36 holes. Then-junior Sierra Brooks reaped the benefits, snagging the individual title that weekend after rounds of 65-62 and leading the Gators to a season-opening victory.
Though Hurricane Dorian’s effects weren’t as costly as those of its tournament-cancelling predecessor, this year it was still shortened one day.
The Gators returned to form at the historic par-72 Yeamans Hall Club with a 24 under (840) 54-hole total, enough to snag third place in this year’s Cougar Classic.
Florida showed no signs of rust, combining for a 282 (-6) first round total. Junior Addie Baggarly highlighted the effort, carding seven birdies en route to a career-low round of 68. Freshman Marina Escobar Domingo and Brooks finished with a pair of 70s to put the Gators in third place after Round 1.
The second round Monday afternoon saw more of the same high-quality play. Brooks and redshirt junior Elin Esborn fired 69 and 68, respectively, the latter being a career-low for the Sweden native.
The Gators entered Tuesday’s final round only two strokes behind SEC rival Vanderbilt and Wake Forest, (Brooks’ former university). Despite a pair of 68’s from Baggarly and senior Marta Perez and a 54-hole total that would have won anywhere else in the country this weekend, Florida finished three shots out of first.
In the end, the women got the bottom end of what was purely a three-team shootout among their fellow southeast powerhouses.
Regardless, coach Emily Glaser and her squad have positives to take away from a week that proved not much has changed since last year’s 11th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
“There’s always more to improve,” said Glaser in a release. “I think we leave here encouraged to keep following our plan and working hard to be the team we want to become.”
Follow Jack Braverman @jack_braverman. Contact him at [email protected].