The Gators Women’s golf team closed out its regular season with a third place title in the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in Athens, Georgia last weekend. Florida finished +3, behind only Georgia (+2) and Alabama (-10) on a course that provides a great test of golf. After winning the Liz Murphey last year, Gators head Coach Jan Dowling says her team was confident going into the tournament.
Before the Liz Murphey Classic, Coach Dowling expressed the excitement of this time of year with the SEC tournament only a few weeks away. Dowling says her team believes in its process and won’t change anything going into a big tournament like this. She also believes she has come a long way as a coach, and trusts herself with her team.
Junior Mia Piccio, carding par in the last round of the Murphey tournament, says she is hopeful for her first college win and consistent tournament placements for the team in her senior season. As part of a competitive team where each individual hopes to place, Piccio says the team makes progress by not only physically practicing, but also by understanding what strengths and weaknesses to work on individually and preparing mentally.
Through years of being an assistant coach prior to her head coaching positions, Dowling has learned from her players and morphed into her own style from watching other coaches. Dowling focuses on recruiting internally, motivated girls and letting her players develop their own practice routines. With three graduating seniors, two of which are Andrea Watts and Evan Jensen who remained on the starting lineup consistently this season, she is counting on juniors Mia Piccio and Isabelle Lendi to step up as leaders for the team. She anticipates a bit of a change up in her program over the next few years with having to recruit new players each season, but is excited for what is to come.
The Lady Gators will participate in the three-day SEC Championship Tournament beginning Friday April 20 at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas.