Gators Golf Victory
Gators women's golf celebrates their victory at the VyStar Credit Union Gators Invitational Sunday, March 5, 2023. photo by Ashley Ray

Florida Women’s Golf Secure Bostick for Eighth Straight Event

The Florida Gators women’s golf team once again defended Mark Bostick Golf Course, their home turf.

For the eighth straight time, the Gators finished at the top of the leaderboard in the VyStar Credit Union Gators Invitational. Also, multiple Gators cracked the individual top 10, including Maisie Filler’s second-place finish.

The win marks the 26th time in program history the Gators have won the VyStar Gators Invitational and the eighth time under head coach Emily Glaser. She now has 28 tournament titles as the Gators’ head coach.

Team Victory

The tournament, originally scheduled for two days and 54 holes, had to be cut short after round one was suspended due to heavy rain Saturday.

So, the tournament became a 36-hole event. At the end of round one, Florida, No. 27 on Golfstat, trailed No. 7 Mississippi State by a stroke.

Restarting action on Sunday, the Gators came out of the gate hot. Filler played a bogey-free final round, shooting a 65 (-5), and her teammates Marina Escobar and Jackie Lucena also played solid rounds.

Florida started pulling away from Mississippi State and never looked back. The squad finished round three with a total of 279 (-1), putting them at a total of 563 (+3) in the event. Florida finished beating Mississippi State and No. 25 UCF by four strokes (+7).

“It’s really special,” Glaser said, “Although it is eight in a row, it’s not easy. I’m just really happy for the team. We came up with some good momentum last week, which I think certainly helped our competence going into this week and we do know this golf course very well. You know, sometimes that works in your favor, sometimes that can actually get in your way and I think there were stretches where we kind of were a little loose and gave a few more back, but overall they hung in there, and we’re able to get the job done.”

Individual accomplishments

Florida junior Maisie Filler had a phenomenal showing at the tournament.

She shot a 68 (-2) in her first round, and her final round 65 (-5) tied her all-time low round score, and she didn’t bogey once in that round.

For the third time in her career, Filler found herself tied for first at the end of the round. Filler and UCF’s Pimpisa Sisutham entered a playoff to decide a solo winner. They both parred the first two holes, but Sisutham parred the final hole to claim the top position over Filler. Still, Filler proved that she is a shining star for the Gators.

“She just keeps getting better and better,” Glaser said, “The most rewarding thing is the type of player she is and she hasn’t had a great spring up into this point. She’s kept her nose down working, pushing and really being patient and so to have that pay off for this week, you know, and at home is really exciting for her and hopefully she can continue to just do those little things that got her to this point, because she’s a great player.”

Two other Gators, Marina Escobar and Jackie Lucena, also finished in the top 10. They both shot 141 (+1) over two rounds, sharing the eighth spot on the leaderboard. The other two Gator golfers, Taylor Roberts and Annabell Fuller, shot +8 and +10, respectively. Florida’s Jenny Kim and Karoline Tuttle competed as individuals, where Kim shot +5 (T21) and Tuttle shot +6 (T27).

Wrapping up the season

The Gators now only have two tournaments left in regular season play.

They’ll head to Augusta, Georgia, to compete in the Valspar Augusta Invitational on March 11 and 12. Then, they travel to Athens to compete in the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic on March 24-26. Following these tournaments, the Gators will compete in the SEC championship beginning April 13.

A big win for the Gators and a strong showing by Filler gives the Gators a lot of confidence heading into the finale of regular season play.

“We should be really excited and optimistic because we haven’t played our best golf the whole year, but we’ve had different people play really well at times and we haven’t had that matchup yet,” Glaser said, “Even this week, us winning, we didn’t have it match up, but it will at some point and that’s where we should be really excited and optimistic about the team that we can be if we just keep working and believing, because we’ve got really a lot of talented players on our team. And like I said, we haven’t put it all together yet, but there’s a lot of golf left this spring, so I’m excited.”

About Alex Winn

Sports Journalism student at the University of Florida.

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