Behind a record-setting performance by medalist Benedetta Moresco
, Alabama closed out its fall season in fashion on Wednesday, winning The Ally at Old Waverly by 10 strokes over Florida.
The 17th-ranked Crimson Tide finished the 54-hole tournament at 22-under 842 to run away from the SEC-heavy field, which included five teams listed inside the Golfweek/Sagarin Top 25 poll, including a pair of top-10 teams in No. 3 Arkansas and No. 8 Florida.
Moresco, a sophomore from Caldogno, Italy, enjoyed a dream week at Old Waverly, where she posted rounds of 63-66-68 to finish 19-under 197 to earn a six-stroke victory over Maisie Filler
of Florida (203; -13). Adela Cernousek
of Texas A&M and Megan Schofill
of Auburn tied for third at 11-under 205.
Moresco's final round of 68 was highlighted by six birdies and an eagle which more than offset four bogeys. She finished the 54-hole tournament with 24 birdies and an eagle to earn her first collegiate victory in a field that included the world's second-ranked (WAGR) women's amateur in LSU's Ingrid Lindblad
, 12th-ranked Brooke Matthews
of Arkansas and the reigning U.S. Women's Amateur champion Jensen Castle
Moresco dominated the tournament from her opening tee shot on Monday when she tied Alabama's school record for the lowest 18-hole total and lowest total against par with an opening-round 63. Her final score of 19-under 197 also set the school record for the lowest 54-hole total against par.
The Crimson Tide's low round of the day belonged to Sarah Edwards
, who carded a 7-under 65. Starting her round on the second hole, the junior from Jay, Fla. opened with three consecutive birdies and put together nines of 30-35 for a career-best 65, which shot her 35 spots up the leaderboard into a tie for 20th at 2-over 218.
of Tennessee, Jackie Lucena
of Florida and Auston Kim
of Vanderbilt finished with rounds of 67.
Second Round Recap; Oct. 27
How did Benedetta Moresco
of Alabama get to 15-under par after two rounds of The Ally? By birdieing 18 of 36 holes at Old Waverly, that's how.
After firing a 9-under 63 in Monday's opening round, Monesco carded a 6-under 66 on Tuesday to open a five-stroke lead over Megan Schofill of Auburn, who sits at 10-under following rounds of 68-66. Maise Filler of Florida is six back at 9-under 135.
Monesco had eight birdies on her Tuesday card to offset a pair of bogeys and a quick check of the scorecard shows the sophomore from Caldogno, Italy has birdied 18 of her 36 holes through two rounds. At 15-under 129 for the tournament, has set an Alabama school record for the lowest 36-hole total in program history.
After making the turn at 1-under 35, Monesco birdied every other hole on her inward nine to come home in 31 for a round of 66.
"Benedetta is such a good putter, and these greens are pretty quick, but they're true if you get a break and speed together, which she is good at," said Alabama head coach Mic Potter. "Her wedges have also been so good. Making the turn, she hit the ball six inches from the hole with her pitch on No. 9, and then at No. 10, she hit it a foot from the hole. So, when you hit it close, you're going to make some birdies, between that and rolling the ball well with the putter.
"The thing I love about her is she is the same no matter the situation. She treats each shot with the respect it deserves and to the best of her ability, no matter where she stands relative to par or relative to the field. It's a good lesson for our whole team to learn, and she is setting a good example."
Behind Monesco, the Crimson Tide continues to hold the team lead at 13-under 563, which is good for a four-stroke lead over Florida (-9) and nine over Mississippi State (-4).
The Crimson Tide also counted rounds by Polly Mack (71), Emilie Øverås (73) and Angelica Monesco (75), Benedetta's young sister.
The Ally will conclude on Wednesday at Old Waverly.
First Round Recap; Oct. 25
While there's plenty of red on the leaderboard after the first round of The Ally being held at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss., Alabama's Benedetta Moresco
did her part to add a big dose of crimson, too.
The sophomore from Caldogno, Italy holds the first-round lead after carding a school and tournament-record 9-under 63 to open The Ally, an event created to honor former Mississippi State golfer, Ally McDonald Ewing.
Starting her round on the 10th hole at Old Waverly, Moresco made two birdies out of the gate and though no one could have predicted it at the time, was a mere precursor of things to come. After making a bogey on her sixth hole of the day (15), Moresco added a pair of birdies on her seventh and eighth holes en route to an outward nine of 33.
Then the fireworks started.
Moresco, last year's SEC Freshman of the Year, opened her second nine with five straight birdies to move to 8-under on the day and after a par on her 15th hole, made her 10th birdie of the day on the 16th en route to a career-low 9-under 63.
The round also set the tournament record for lowest score, previously held by Tennessee's Mikayla Bardwell's 64 in 2020 and tied Alabama's school record for lowest score and lowest score against par, sharing the honors with Lakareber Abe's 9-under-par 63 in 2016-17
"I didn't plan on someone shooting 63, the Moresco family is 12-under by themselves," said Alabama head coach Mic Potter, referencing Benedetta's younger sister, Angelica, who is tied for sixth place after carding a 69.
Despite her record-setting round, Moresco didn't exactly run away from the field. Adela Cernousek
of Texas A&M quietly turned in a round of 66 and is just three off the pace heading into Tuesday's second round. After making a bogey on her first hole of the day, the Frenchwoman birdied five of her next eight holes to turn in 32 and then played her second nine at 2-under for an opening 66.
of Arkansas is four back after carding a 67 while nine other golfers are within six strokes of the lead, including Ingrid Lindblad
of LSU, who is coming off a win last week at The Stephens Cup, and Benedetta's younger sister, Angelica, who opened with a 69.
On the strength of Moresco's strong start, 17th-ranked Alabama holds the first-round lead at 10-under 278, one shot ahead of No. 8 Florida, which sits at 9-under 279. No. 18 Texas A&M (282; -6), No. 13 TCU (285; -3) and third-ranked Arkansas (287; -1) also finished the day in the red.
Mississippi State and Alabama Athletics Communications contributed to this report.