Gator Women Stay Steady, Finish Fifth at Bryan National
For the second consecutive day, the No. 5 University of Florida women’s golf team fired a lower number than the day before and was able to finish in fifth place at the Bryan National Collegiate, the team’s final regular-season tournament of the year.
After already improving on their day one score with a second round 292, the Gators went one shot better to go three-over (291) in the final round and finished in the top ten for the ninth-straight tournament. UF capped a tremendous regular season where it finished at least in the top-10, as a team, in every tournament and also saw five individual medalist winners over those same tournaments.
Virginia won the team title at the Bryan National Collegiate with a five-over (869), while the individual title went to Georgia’s Emilie Burger, who totaled a five-under (211) for a one shot victory over Virginia’s Brittany Altomare.
“Our play was solid today,” Florida head coach Emily Bastel said. “We continued to move up the leaderboard all day, which is positive. Our start was shaky, but we did a great job of hanging in there until the end and I’m proud of the girls for that.”
Individually, freshman Ursa Orehek (Domzale, Slovenia) was the top Gator finisher for the first time in her career as she shot one-under (71) in the final round to move up to a tie for 17th place. Orehek shot a 221 (+5) overall for her lowest 54-hole total of the season and best finish of the year as well. The final round 71 is also her first round under par in her Gator career. After keeping at even par through the first nine holes, Orehek found herself sitting at one-over with two holes to go, but managed a nice birdie on the par five, sixth hole, followed by a second red number on the par three, seventh, to have a birdie-birdie finish.
“Ursa had a great round today,” Bastel said. “We discussed after round one that she was having trouble finishing her rounds, so we made some adjustments over the last few days. It was nice to see that work for her and her birdie, birdie finish today is proof of that.”
As for the other four Gators, all managed to finish inside the top-40 and within one shot of each other. Senior Isabelle Lendl (Goshen, Conn.) was the second highest finishing UF player of the weekend as she carded an even par (72), her 17th even or under par round of the year and second-straight of the tournament. Lendl used three birdies to go with three bogeys to finish the tournament at eight-over (224) in a tie for 32nd place.
Right behind Lendl, also at eight-over (224) for the tournament, was junior Elcin Ulu (Istanbul, Turkey), who had a fairly consistent tournament after a final round three-over (75). Ulu suffered a double-bogey on her first hole of the day and then another bogey two holes later. However, she parred out the next 15 holes to minimize the damage. The finish is Ulu’s third-best of the spring season and second-straight inside the top-40.
Just one shot back of their teammates was senior Mia Piccio (Bacolod City, Philippines) and sophomore Camilla Hedberg (Sitges, Spain), who both finished the tournament at nine-over (225) in a tie for 40th place. Piccio had the third-best Sunday by a Florida player with a one-over (73), also her best round of the weekend. Trying to keep the bogey number low, Piccio had only two over-par holes through 11 holes and also had one birdie over that same span to stay around one-over for most of the day.
For Hedberg, some early bogeys left her in a hole that proved too tough to dig out of. The sophomore scored two bogeys on the first three holes she played and then holed two more to finish the day with four bogeys and no birdies. The final round 76 (+4) was her highest score of the tournament and left her in a tie for 40th at nine-over.
“Overall, we take a lot of positives away from this week,” Bastel said. “Our first round put us behind the eight ball, but we rebounded well and have some momentum heading into the SEC Tournament.”
The Gators get a few weeks off before heading to Birmingham, Ala., for the SEC Tournament. The conference event is slated to start on April 19 and run through April 21 at Greystone Golf and Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.
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Auburn Women FInish Tied for Ninth
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The No. 28 Auburn women's golf team finished play at the Bryan National Collegiate tied for ninth with a 30-over 894. Marta Sanz carded a top 10 finish, her third of the season.
Hosted by Wake Forest and North Carolina-Greensboro, the Bryan National Collegiate was a 54-hole tournament played at the Bryan Park Golf and Enrichment Center Champions Course in Greensboro, N.C. The par 72 course played at 6,386 yards for the tournament.
Junior Sanz finished with a 3-over 219 in the tournament, tied for seventh with a 3-over 75 on the day. Fellow junior Diana Fernandez carded a 7-over 79 in the final round, finishing tied for 32nd with an 8-over 224.
"We improved at this tournament. Diana had a great breakthrough, and Marta was back with a chance to win today," said head coach Kim Evans. "We will build on this as we prepare for the SEC Championship."
Freshman Jamie Yun finished tied for 50th with a 12-over 228, following a final-round 5-over 77. Senior Carlie Yadloczky finished 60th after a 3-over 75 on the day at 14-over 230 while Victoria Trapani carded an even-par 72 in the final round, finishing 72nd with an 18-over 234.
Virginia finished first in the tournament with a 5-over 286. Arkansas placed second at 9-over 873 and Wake Forest carded a 21-over 885 to place third. Vanderbilt finished fourth with a 22-over 886 while Florida ended at 23-over 887 in fifth.
Individually, Georgia's Emilie Burger finished first with a 5-under 211, and Virginia's Brittany Altomare placed second with a 4-under 212. South Carolina's Sarah Schmelzel carded a 1-under 215 for the tournament to place third while Virginia's Elizabeth Brightwell and North Carolina State's Brittany Marchand tied for fourth with even-par 216s.
The Tigers return to the course in the Southeastern Conference Championship in Birmingham, Ala., on April 19 at the Greystone Golf Club. Auburn has won three of the last four SEC titles.
Razorbacks Finish as Runner-Up
BROWN’S SUMMIT, N.C. – Emma Lavy and Victoria Vela shot under par rounds leading the sixth-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team to a second-place finish at the Bryan National Collegiate in Brown’s Summit, N.C., Sunday.
Lavy, a junior from Fayetteville, Ark., posted a two-under 70 while Vela, a Mansfield, Texas, native finished with a one-under 71 leading the Razorbacks to a final round 290 – the second lowest round of the day. Arkansas finished with an 873, just four strokes out of first place.
“I’m proud of this group’s effort this week,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “It was a total team effort. Emma’s 70 today is just a fantastic round of golf on the final round. She was close all week and to see her put it together is awesome and she came up big for our team today.
“Also Victoria’s one-under is just awesome as well,” Estes-Taylor continued. “Those two veterans really stepped up big for us. Everyone contributed for us this week and played at a high level. We leave North Carolina with a lot of momentum heading into the postseason.”
Junior two-time All-American Emily Tubert paced Arkansas all week and tied for seventh overall. The Burbank, Calif., native shot 73-71-75 for 219 as the top Razorback finisher.
Freshman Gabriela Lopez tied with Vela for 13th overall. Lopez carded rounds of 72-71-77 for 220 while Vela shot 74-75-71 for the Razorbacks.
Lavy and freshman Regina Plesencia tied for 23rd in the tournament. Lavy posted rounds of 78-74-70 while Plasencia shot 75-73-74 for 222.
Virginia, ranked No. 15 this week, won the event with an 869 with rounds of 281-293-295. Their first round 281 was the best round of the tournament and gave them a lead that was hard to catch up with. The Razorbacks were in second with a comfortable margin with rounds of 294-289-290 for 873. They had a 12-stroke cushion over third-place No. 46 Wake Forest on their home course. The Demon Decans shot 885 for the three-day tournament. The rest of the field included No. 7 Vanderbilt with 886, No. 5 Florida with 887, No. 19 Georgia with 888, No. 23 North Carolina State with 892, No. 2 Duke and No. 43 Auburn tied with 894, No. 9 North Carolina with 897, No. 26 Michigan State with 902, No. 30 Tennessee with 904, No. 42 Florida State with 908, UNC-Greensboro with 927, UNC-Wilmington with 928 and Louisville with 930.
“We have about two weeks before the SEC Championships to continue to improve and prepare and we are looking forward to it,”Estes-Taylor said.
Gamecocks Finish Eighth at Bryan National
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- South Carolina freshman Sarah Schmelzel fired her second 71 (-1) of the weekend on her way to claiming third place at the Bryan National Collegiate on Sunday afternoon at the Bryan Park Golf and Enrichment Center. As a team, the Gamecocks posted a final-round 296 (+8) to finish in eighth place with a total of 893 (+29).
Schmelzel wrapped up the weekend with a 54-hole total of 215 (-1), which matches the second-lowest 54-hole total for a freshman in school history. She came up four strokes short of tournament champion Emilie Burger of Georgia, who recorded a total of 211 (-5) for the weekend. The Gamecocks finished ahead of six teams ranked ahead of them in the Golfstat Top 50, including second-ranked Duke and ninth-ranked North Carolina.
"I'm proud of the way the team played this week," South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. "We handled adversity very well and were very tough. Three of our players birdied their last hole today to push us in front of some highly ranked teams. We need to keep this mentality moving into the postseason. There were a lot of positives to build on from this week."
A native of Phoenix, Ariz., Schmelzel was one of the Gamecocks who birdied their last hole. She finished the afternoon with five birdies and four bogeys on the scorecard.
Junior Suzie Lee was the next highest Gamecock on the leaderboard as she finished in a tie for 40th with a total of 225 (+9). Lee turned in a final-round 75 (+3) that included two birdies and five bogeys.
Sophomore Justine Dreher posted a 76 (+4) on Sunday to conclude the tournament in a tie for 44th with a total of 226 (+10). Dreher was as high as 5-over during her round but she tallied her first birdie of the afternoon on her final hole to finish the day at 4-over.
Freshman Chelsey Couch turned in the second lowest round of the day for the Gamecocks as she shot a 74 (+2). Couch finished the weekend in a tie for 56th with a total of 229 (+13). For her round she recorded four bogeys and two birdies, including a birdie on her finishing hole at No. 10.
Freshman Mary Fran Hillow shot a 77 (+5) to finish the tournament in a tie for 75th with a total of 237 (+21). Junior Samantha Swinehart, who played as an individual, carded an 81 (+9) to finish in a tie for 50th with a total of 228 (+12).
Virginia won the tournament title with a total of 869 (+5), followed by Arkansas (873), Wake Forest (885) and Vanderbilt (886).
The Gamecocks will close out the regular season on April 12-14 at the Pink Arizona State Invitational. The 54-hole event will be held at the ASU Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz.
UGA's Burger Wins Bryan National Individual Title
BROWNS SUMMIT, N.C. --- Georgia senior Emilie Burger played her final five holes at 4-under – including an eagle-2 – en route to capturing medalist honors at the Bryan National Collegiate on Sunday. The 19th-ranked Bulldogs shot 293 in the final round and finished sixth in the 17-team field at 888.
With the shotgun start, Burger opened her day at No. 3 and was 1-over through her first 13 holes. She then birdied No. 16 and eagled No. 17, holing out from 125 yards.
"I just couldn't get anything going all day," Burger said. "On 15, I got frustrated. On 16, I hit it tight again and finally made a putt. On 17, I knew I had the perfect shot. It was a 9-iron and I'd been hitting it well all day. Everyone says 'go in' when they hit a good shot but you usually don't think it's really going in. I thought it had a chance. It skipped past the hole and tucked back in."
Burger birdied No. 1 to move to 3-under on the day and 5-under overall. After a par on No. 2, Burger learned she had slipped past Virginia's Brittany Altomare to win by one shot.
"When I birdied No.1 I figured I was kind of close but I really didn't want to know," Burger said.
The victory was Burger's second of the 2012-13 season. In the fall, she claimed medalist honors at the Mason Rudolph Championship in September.
Burger's closing 69 was Georgia's low loop of the day. The Bulldogs also counted a 73 from Manuela Carbajo Ré, a 74 by Kailey Walsh and a 77 from Amira Alexander, while dropping a 79 by Rocio Sanchez Lobato.
Overall, Carbajo Ré tied for 13th at 220, and Alexander, Sanchez Lobato and Walsh all tied for 62nd at 232.
"We couldn't get anything going early (in the day)," head coach Josh Brewer said. "I kept waiting for someone to step and Emilie certainly did. Manuela had a solid score today and Kailey put together her second straight good round after a slow start. I would like to be a little higher on the team leaderboard, but this is an NCAA Regional quality field."
No. 15 Virginia completed its wire-to-wire lead atop the team field at 5-over 869. No. 6 Arkansas was second at 873, followed by Wake Forest at 885, No. 7 Vanderbilt at 886, No. 5 Florida at 887, the Bulldogs at 888, No. 23 N.C. State at 892, South Carolina at 893, No. 2 Duke and Auburn both at 894 and No. 9 North Carolina at 897.
Georgia shot 12-over in the opening round but was 12-over over the final 36 holes.
"We played very well over the final 36 holes…just about as well as anyone," Brewer said. "It was the same was last week at LSU. We talked about that as a team. In four of the past six rounds, we've beaten a lot of very good teams. We just need to figure out how to get off to a better start."
The tournament served as Georgia's regular-season finale. The Bulldogs will next compete in the SEC Championships on April 19-21 at Greystone Golf and Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.
"We're getting two or three good rounds day after day from different people. That's a good sign. Hopefully, we'll be able to put that together even more at the SEC Championships and throughout the post-season."