The No. 8 Gators women’s golf team opened their spring play at the Florida Challenge in Tampa on Monday with a team and individual title. Their 7-under, 281 team total in the second round of play helped them finish 12 strokes ahead of the field. An all-Gator trio of senior Maria Torres, freshmen Carlotta Ricolfi and Marta Perez shared a three-way tie for first place at 1-over.
After the first round, the Gators were in a tie for first with Miami, and only one shot ahead of Florida State. The Gators pulled away from the 11-team field in the second round. Only three teams posted team totals under 300 in the second round. Florida’s 281 was 11 shots ahead of the next best total.
This is the Gators’ second Florida Challenge victory in as many years. Both Torres and Ricolfi carded a 4-over 76 in the first round then followed it up with a 3-under 69. Perez carded a final round 68, her career best while donning the Orange and Blue. Seniors Kelly Grassel and Karolina Vlckova both finished T14 at 7-over.
All nine Gators made the trip, with four competing as individuals. Sophomore Sam Wagner was among them and finished T4, at 2-over. This is the Windermere native’s sixth top-ten finish in two years with the Gators.
The Gators head out West for the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge on Feb. 12-14.