WOMEN'S GOLF: Florida finishes fourth in tourney

PALOS VERDES, CA --- The number 22/23 ranked University of Florida Lady Gator golf team ended play with a fourth place finish Wednesday in the Northrop Grumman Regional tournament. The fourth place finish is the highest finish of any Lady Gator team in the history of the Grumman. Florida carded rounds of 302-297-305 to complete play with a 904 final score.

"We did well. I think the girls were kind of nervous coming out and playing in their first spring tournament after such a long break," head golf coach Jill Briles-Hinton said. "We played a lot of top-notch teams and I felt that the girls played a solid game."

Finishing the tournament in first place was number nine Pepperdine, carding a 54-hole tally of 896. With a 898 was second-place UCLA, while the number one Duke team finished in third with a 900. Florida's fourth-place finish was better than seven other top-25 ranked teams, all of which were higher ranked than the Lady Gators coming into the tournament.

"We had the tournament in place after round two, but it was just out of our reach today," Briles-Hinton said. "But I thought we played well and we will pick up and learn from this tournament and get ready for the next one."

In the 54-hole tournament, UF finished with two players in the top 10. Freshmen Tiffany Chudy (Miramar) and Sandra Gal (Leichlingen, Germany) both tied for tenth place in the tournament, finishing the 54 holes with a 224 tally. Chudy fired rounds of 74-77-73, bouncing up and down, but pulling through as Florida's leading golfer by the end of the tournament. Gal recorded her best showing of the season at the Grumman, carding 76-73-75.

Next in the ranks for Florida was freshman CJ Kim (Rowland Heights, Calif.) who finished the three-day tournament with a 227 after shooting rounds of 75-73-79. Kim finished in a tie for 21st. Down two spots from her seat in a tie for 23rd during round two was senior Andrea Vander Lende (Longwood). Vander Lende finished with a 229 after firing rounds of 77-74-78 during the three-day stint. Vander Lende completed play in her last Grumman tournament of her career.

Competing as an individual for the Lady Gators, freshman Eleanor Tucker (Wilson, N.C.) notched a 230 with scores of 77-77-76 after the 54 holes. Tucker ended play in a tie for 30th, up six spots from her finish the second day at the tournament. Whitney Myers (East Berlin, Penn.) also competed in the tournament, and finished in a tie for 72nd place after shooting 84-79-85 for a 248 final stroke count.

The Lady Gators will return to action in two weeks as the team heads to Puerto Rico to compete in the Lady Puerto Rico Classic. The tournament will begin on Feb. 21 and will conclude on Feb. 23.

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