Golfers start fast, fade late

The USF women’s golf team stormed through the Friday round of the Lady Gator Invitational leading by just a single shot. But during the Saturday rain and chilly temperatures, the Bulls couldn’t keep their heads above water.

In spite of their first-round performance, the Bulls shot a round two 315 that left them tied for sixth place. On Sunday they couldn’t retake the lead, leaving the tournament open for the University of Florida to defend its home turf by hitting 900 for their three-day total.

USF finished seventh overall in the 15-team tournament, shooting a 934 total on the brand new course.

“It was the first time anyone had seen it (the course),” said 8-year Bulls coach Susan Holt. “And the elements made it tough.”Even though USF didn’t win the tournament, the Bulls got to play against some pretty stiff SEC competition, including South Carolina which hit 909 for second place and third place Georgia which shot 910.

“We missed some opportunities Sunday, but in the big picture this (tournament) was good for us,” said Holt.

The team leader of the tournament was once again Kelly Martin, who shot a 233 and tied for 20th place overall. Martin was coming off her best performance in the UCF Invitational, where she led the team to a second place finish and took first in the competition.

Other leaders were Jill Crowe, who shot a 234 for 25th place, Fany Schaeffer with 235 for 29th place, and Megan Cushman hit 243 and landed in 54th place.

“Overall, I feel good about where we are,” said Holt. “We played good at UCF and played one good round at Gainesville.”

The team will need their good play to continue when they head to Tulane next weekend to face off against seven conference schools. The Tulane Invitational will help prepare them for the big championship in April.

“The last time we played Tulane was three years ago,” said Holt. “And only two of our players competed in that last meeting – Kelly Martin and Katie Ruhe.”

  • Mary Goodman covers women’s golf and can be reached at