It has been 11 months since the USF women’s golf team hit the green, but based off the first invitational it looks like the wait was worth it.
After a strong season opener at the FAU Paradise Invitational on Tuesday, the Bulls were ranked No. 22 in the Golf Week Women’s Collegiate Top 25 Rankings.
The two-day tournament showcased both returning players as well as newcomers that broke program records. The Bulls posted an opening round 7-under-par score of 281 on Monday which set a program record for the lowest round total and lowest round versus par.
The Bulls also marked a 54-hole team total of 861, breaking the previous 54-hole team total record of 864 that was set in 2015-16.
USF was also able to beat its 36-hole total record of 576 which was attained in 2018-19. The new record set Monday is now 566.
Freshman Melanie Green was a notable front-runner by coach Erika Brennan and finished second overall in her college debut with an all-time 54-hole total of 211.
“Melanie is a total workhorse and she came out firing,” Brennan said. “It was an incredible debut and one she will look to not only sustain but build on.”
Junior Ashley Zagers tied with Michigan State’s Valery Plata and North Florida’s Mindy Herrick for ninth after firing an even-par 216, and junior Jessica Whitting tied with Michigan State’s Paz Marfa and Haylin Harris, and Florida Atlantic’s Arielle Keating for 13th with a 2-over-par 218.
“After 11 months, to watch these women come out hungry and focused is just awesome,” Brennan said. “Their dedication to preparation this spring has been strong and it’s great to see them get rewarded out of the gate for their efforts.”
Next up, USF will travel to Tallahassee for the Florida State Matchup at Seminole Legacy Golf Club from Feb. 26-28.