Gainesville, Fla. - The Stetson women's golf team shrugged off a tough first 36 holes of competition in its spring season opener with a strong showing in the final round of the SunTrust Gator Invitational on Monday at Mark Bostick Golf Course. Junior Lauren Cate (St. Augustine, Fla.) used a hole-in-one on the par three 15th hole to shoot even par 72 as the Hatters bounced back from rounds of +32 and +33 with a +17 score of 305 in the final round, passing Missouri into a 16th place finish.
Cate hit a 4-iron to a front pin location on the 166-yard 15th hole, landing her shot 10 feet short and 10 feet left of the hole and letting the slope of the green slowly roll the ball into the cup. Sophomore Alexandria Buelow (Palm City, Fla.), the next Hatter through the 15th, would see her tee shot strike the flagstick, drop into the hole and bounce out - it would have been the second ace of the week on #15 for Buelow, who nailed a hole-in-one there during Saturday's practice round. Cate's ace was the first of her life, Head Coach Floyd Kerr reported.
Buelow finished with a three over par 75 to complement Cate's 72; for 54 holes Buelow tied for 43rd place at +15 while Cate tied for 47th at +16. Freshman Mallory Viera (Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.) shot 77 on Monday with freshmen Jenna Hoecker (Rochester, N.Y.) and Sammi Smith (Louisville, Ky.) also recording tournament lows with 81 and 85, respectively.
Stetson's final round 305 was tied for the eighth-best score in an extremely tough 17-team field that featured nine GolfStat.com Top 50 and five Top 30 opponents. The Hatters had the same final round total as nationally 11th-ranked Iowa State.
Host Florida, ranked 34th, came in at +25 to roll to an 18-stroke victory over #38 Florida State. #30 Ohio State took third at 55 over par, one stroke ahead of #29 Colorado. #22 Arkansas (+59), #11 Iowa State (+61), #46 Coastal Carolina (+61), #35 Chattanooga (+61), Augusta State (+71), #28 Kent State (+73), Texas Tech (+74), UCF (+79), Georgia State (+88), James Madison (+97), UNC Greensboro (+100), Stetson (+106) and Missouri (+107) completed the field in that order.
The Hatters travel to Orange Park, Fla. this weekend for the JMU Eagle Landing Invitational. The Hatters will compete in an 18-team field that features major conference foes such as Illinois, Maryland, Miami (Fla.) and USF as well as A-Sun rivals Campbell, FGCU, Jacksonville and Kennesaw State. Live Scoring will be available at GolfStatResults.com.
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