It's now three in a row for Florida at the Briar's Creek Invitational
(Florida Athletics Photo)
JOHNS CREEK, SC (March 21, 2017) -- For the third straight year Florida has won the Briar's Creek Invitational hosted by The Golf Club at Briar's Creek. Ahead by 10 shots to start the final round all the Gators did on Tuesday was extend their lead some more.
"Our goal today was to win the day and we came close to that," said Florida head coach Emily Glaser. "We just gave a few shots away at the end to keep us having the day's low round. Overall, a statement win by the team and a solid team effort by each individual this week."
Led by medalist Maria Torres, Florida finished a tournament record 15-under-par and 18 shots in front of second place Campbell. For Florida it was their fourth win of the season.
Torres began the day three off the individual lead but as the leaders faded the senior surged with a 3-under 69 to post 7-under and win by three.
A winner for the third time this year and second time in a row, Torres played a flawless round of golf with birdies coming on the 2nd, 10th and 11th holes.
Florida was also boosted by Kelly Grassel (T3; -3), Karolina Vlckova (T8; -1), Taylor Tomlinson (T18; +2) and Marta Perez SanMartin (T22; +3).
Behind Torres in the medalist race are Laura Fuenfstueck (College of Charleston) at 4-under in second place while Annelie Sjoholm (Campbell), Dewi Weber (Miami), Olivia Cason (Louisville) and Grassel shared third at 3-under.
In the team standings Campbell was second at 2-over, Illinois was third at 3-over, Miami was fourth at 6-over while Auburn rounded out the top-five at 7-over.
The Florida Gators are looking to continue their roll of late. With three wins already this year, including a victory in their last start the Gators are well positioned for another win at the Briar's Creek Invitational.
Florida, the two-time defending champions, put together a pair of subpar rounds on Monday and at 13-under they lead the way at The Golf Club at Briar's Creek by 10 shots.
"Positive day today. A lot of great execution, but also really impressed with the fight we showed as the wind began to blow and the golf course played more difficult throughout the afternoon," said Florida head coach Emily Glaser.
The Gator advantage has been built in large part due to the play of Maria Torres and Kelly Grassel, both of whom are 4-under in a tie of third.
Torres started her tournament with a bogey-free morning round of 6-under 66 and then followed it up with a 2-over 74 in the afternoon. Despite bogeying four-times in the second round Torres was able to salvage a bit of her round with an eagle on the par-5 10th.
For Grassel it was rounds of 69-71 on Monday. Overall Grassel birdied eight-times and bogeyed four-times on Monday.
So far the Gators have also received top-10 play from Karolina Vlckova, who at 2-under is tied for ninth.
The 7-under, three-stroke medalist lead through two rounds belongs to the College of Charleston's Laura Fuenfstueck and Olivia Cason of Louisville.
Fuenfstueck combined rounds of 68-69 during day one play as she put together a flawless 4-under 68 in the morning and then a five birdie, two bogey showing in the afternoon.
Cason posted rounds of 68-69 as well but she had the more adventuresome day. In her opening round Cason birdied four-times, bogeyed twice, all before closing her round with an eagle on the par-5 10th.
Things for Cason were a bit smoother in the afternoon as she tallied four birdies and a lone bogey.
Joining Torres and Grassel in the third place tie at 4-under are Gabby Barker (Texas Tech) and Kayley Marschke (Auburn).
When the final round begins Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. EST the Gators will be in front of second place Campbell (-3), third place Illinois (+1) and tied for fourth Louisville (+2); Miami (+2).
-Florida Athletics contributed to this story