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Bulls never trail, win by 11 strokes

The USF women’s golf team received a confidence booster this weekend when they led wire-to-wire to win the Beacon Woods Invitational.

“This win was important because the players now realize that they can get out and shoot low scores,” USF coach Susan Holt said. “It lets them know that we can still go where we want to go for the season. We know we are capable of playing good golf, and now we have the tournament win to show it.”

The team shot 891, 11 strokes ahead of second-place University of Mississippi. Senior Jill Crowe shot a tournament-low 69 in the opening round Friday and finished with 219 for the tournament to tie for second.

Also finishing in the top 10 for the Bulls were freshmen Daniella Ronderos, whose 220 tied for fourth, and Mary Calderon, who shot 223 to tie for eighth.

The win comes after finishing 11th and seventh in the first two tournaments this season and comes with just two matches left on the fall schedule.

Holt said she hopes the timing of the victory will provide momentum as the Bulls finish the fall season and look ahead to the spring.

In the first two tournaments, the team shot well in qualifying rounds but could not follow up with low scores in the matches. Holt said she thinks this could have hurt the team’s confidence, but with the win this weekend, they may have erased some self-doubt.

“Our average score in our qualifying rounds is a 75 or a 76, but then we wouldn’t follow up on that with a good score in the tournaments,” Holt said. “I think our confidence was a real issue coming into this tournament. But now that we have this win to our credit, I think we have a better idea of what we’re able to do.”

Holt said the performance comes at a good time because it gives the team a burst heading into the most competitive time of the season.

“Fall is a time to put yourself in a position to be considered among the nations top teams,” Holt said.

“I think we are getting there in that regard. We have a big tournament this weekend (in the Mission Inn Fall Classic), and we have an opportunity to follow up on this performance.”