Florida’s women opened their season Tuesday with a six-shot victory at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, S.C. The Gators finished comfortably ahead of Duke, which charged up the leaderboard during the final round.
Florida, No. 14 in Golfweek’s preseason rankings, finished the tournament at 12-under 852 at Yeamans Hall. The Gators had entered the final round three shots ahead of USC, which ranked fourth in Golfweek‘s preseason rankings. The Trojans had a six-shot lead on the next-closest team, Vanderbilt. Florida stayed atop of the leaderboard with a final-round 1-under 287, as USC shot 7-over 295.
Duke’s final-round 281 was the best round of the tournament and boosted the Blue Devils to second place at 6-under 858. Duke senior Lindy Duncan (9-under 207), last year’s Player of the Year, finished second to Florida sophomore Camilla Hedberg (13-under 203).
Hedberg’s teammates Isabelle Lendl (fifth) and Mia Piccio (T-6) also were among the top 10 individuals.
This was Florida’s first tournament under new head coach Emily Bastel, who had been an assistant for the Gators.
Defending national champion Alabama finished eighth.