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Lucena Records Ace as Gators Place Top-3 at Moon Golf Invitational for Best Finish of Season

Florida senior Jackie Lucena aced the 168-yard, par-3 16th hole Tuesday at Suntree Country Club in Melbourne, Fla., en route to the team’s best overall finish this season. The Gators took solo third place out of 17 teams competing in the Moon Golf Invitational hosted by Louisville.

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Individual Performances

Lucena matched her collegiate-best round of 66 (-6) Tuesday and carded a career-low, 54-hole score (208) to finish tied for fifth on the individual leaderboard. After the tournament, Florida head coach Emily Glaser explained the key to Lucena’s success.

“I’m happy for Jackie [Lucena] to have a nice finish,” Glaser said. “She’s been patient with her game and it paid off this week. “

Lucena finished one stroke behind Florida senior Annabell Fuller, who entered the final round one shot behind the lead at 9-under-par.

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Fuller — who is ranked No. 20 among all Division I women’s golfers — made four birdies and four bogeys Tuesday to shoot an even-par 72 for a fourth-place finish. Despite her slight regression Tuesday, the London, England, native received high praise from her coach.

“Another great tournament from Annabell [Fuller],” Glaser said. “She’s been working hard and is very motivated.”

Senior Marina Escobar, junior Maisie Filler, and freshman Karoline Tuttle all carded rounds of 72 Tuesday to place top-50 out of 97 golfers. Escobar finished even par (T-32) and one stroke ahead of Filler and Tuttle (T-42).

After entering the final round 2-under-par, Florida redshirt sophomore Taylor Roberts bogeyed six holes Tuesday to finish 3-over-par (T-57).

Top-3 Finish

As a team, the Gators shot 18-under-par to place top-3 for the first time ever at the Moon Golf Invitational. Florida finished behind only LSU (-30) and Northwestern (-21).

“I’m really happy to see the perseverance of this group after a tough outing last week,” Glaser said. “Every week, we are learning and getting better.”

The Gators finished 10 strokes ahead of in-state rival Florida State and 63 strokes ahead of last-place Miami. The Orange and Blue defeated four SEC opponents — Alabama, No. 17 Auburn, No. 25 Arkansas and No. 19 Vanderbilt.

Gators Return to Gainesville

The Gators will return to Gainesville as they prepare to host the 51st VyStar Credit Union Gators Invitational at Mark Bostick Golf Course. The two-day, 54-hole event is scheduled to begin on March 4.

About Griffin Foll

Hi, my name is Griffin Foll and I am currently a senior at UF studying journalism with a focus on sports and media and an outside concentration in political science. In addition to covering the 2023 UF men's and women's golf beats, I contribute weekly web and radio content for WRUF ESPN Gainesville. Be sure to check out some of my recent articles!

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