With Sierra Brooks gone, Florida adds top junior Annabell Fuller for spring season

With Sierra Brooks gone, Florida adds top junior Annabell Fuller for spring season

College

With Sierra Brooks gone, Florida adds top junior Annabell Fuller for spring season

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It isn’t easy replacing a senior All-American, but Florida will do its best this spring by bringing in Annabell Fuller, a top-30 player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, to Gainesville, Florida, a semester early. Fuller started class at Florida this week and will compete with the Gators in the spring.

Fuller’s timing couldn’t be better with Sierra Brooks having departed a semester early for the Symetra Tour. Brooks, who tied for medalist honors in the second stage of LPGA Q-School, fell short of earning full LPGA status at the LPGA Q-Series. She will play a full schedule on the developmental tour this year in hopes of setting herself up on the big tour in 2021.

Fuller is No. 4 in Golfweek’s Junior Rankings, and was the top-ranked player in the class of 2020. After growing up in London, she had been attending IMG Academy since the fall of 2018.

When Brooks announced that she would depart for the Symetra Tour at the start of 2020, Fuller was going over school credits and class schedule with an advisor at IMG. She was facing a light final semester, or a jump to the next level.

“The idea came about and I thought it was so exciting because I couldn’t wait to come here in the fall,” she said from Gainesville. “So then we came on a visit and I absolutely loved being here. I mean, I loved IMG but I felt like I was ready to move on and because the opportunity was there.”

The 2019 season was a memorable one for Annabell as she played her way to the third round of match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur and finished fifth at the European Ladies Amateur. The 2017 English Girls Open Amateur champion represented Great Britain and Ireland at the Curtis Cup a year and a half ago and was a member of the European Junior Solheim Cup team this fall.

A step into the yet-unknown of college golf is a much-needed step forward for Fuller, ranked No. 28 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. The 17-year-old had transitioned up from junior to amateur golf at home in Europe, but while at IMG, competed in several junior events.

“It was almost like it was a great experience because I got to play different tournaments, but then I had played them all and I kind of talked to my dad, I think I’m ready to play again in the amateur and the better junior competition, with more players in them,” she said.

Florida finished the fall portion of the season ranked No. 7 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. The Gators were in the top 5 in all four fall starts, winning the Glass City Invitational in Toledo.

On the men’s side, Florida men’s coach J.C. Deacon is also bringing in a first-semester this month. Christophe Stutts, a Maitland, Florida, native who won two Moonlight Mini Tour events in 2019 has also started spring classes and will compete with the Gators.

Florida’s women open the spring season in Palos Verdes, California, for the Northrop Grumman Challenge Feb. 9-11 while the men play the Sea Best Invitational in Jacksonville, Florida, Feb. 3-4.

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