Gators
Florida Women's Golfer Maisie Filler in the 2022 SEC Championship Photo Credit: UAA

Gators Women’s Golf Begins Season at Therese Hession Regional Challenge

The Florida Gators women’s golf team starts their spring season with a trip out west. The team travels to Palos Verdes, California, to compete in the Therese Hession Regional Challenge, hosted by Ohio State.

Starting noon Sunday, the Gators will tee off for the three-day tournament, which will feature 18 holes Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at the Palos Verdes Golf Club. The course is a 6,017-yard par 71 located on the coast of California. Palos Verdes is roughly 30 miles south of Los Angeles.

The Gators look to build off last season’s momentum, where they finished runner-up at the SEC Championship in Birmingham. Florida has competed in this tournament, formerly known as the Northrop Grumman Challenge, eight times, most recently in the spring of 2020. The event was renamed after Therese Hession, head coach of 30 years and director of golf, retired in January 2022.

Gators’ Lineup

Florida’s team lineup features five golfers, including three seniors and standout junior Maisie Filler. Golfstat ranks the Gators at No. 28.

  • No. 1 – Jackie Lucena (Sr.)
  • No. 2 – Annabell Fuller (Sr.)
  • No. 3 – Maisie Filler (Jr.)
  • No. 4 – Marina Escobar (Sr.)
  • No. 5 – Taylor Roberts (Redshirt So.)

Lucena, who transferred from UC Davis after her sophomore year, put on a strong showing in her junior year as a Gator. She posted a stroke average of 73.3 (tied for third on the team) and posted a career-low tournament score of 209 (-7) at the Ally. As a senior with a lot of experience, and who are up in California (Chico), Lucena will be a focal point of the Gators’ squad.

Filler, from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is the shining point of Florida’s team. Last season, she appeared in all 11 tournament lineups and led the team with a 72.3 stroke average and posted the lowest scores for 18 (65), 36 (134) and 54 (203) holes. Also, she posted eight rounds in the 60s. Undoubtedly, Filler with be relied on this season. The rising star has what it takes to bring the Gators to the next level.

Competition

A total of 16 teams are competing in the tournament, with multiple top-25 teams squaring off.

No. 15 Arizona, No. 18 Baylor, Florida, Georgetown, Illinois, No. 24 Kentucky, Ohio State (host), No. 5 Oregon, Pepperdine, No. 3 San Jose State, No. 21 SMU, No. 1 Stanford, No. 6 Texas, No. 12 UCLA, No. 23 USC and Washington.

A plethora of tough competition throws the Gators right into the deep end in their first tournament of the spring. Posting a solid finish in this event will be a great way to kick off the 2023 season. Gators head coach Emily Glaser added assistant coach Beth Wu in July. Hopefully, the staff can lead the squad to a high finish.

About Alex Winn

Sports Journalism student at the University of Florida.

Check Also

Florida Bullpen Continues to Struggle In Loss To South Carolina

The No. 24 Florida Gators baseball team fell 10-3 to the South Carolina Gamecock on …