No. 2 Alabama comes back to capture team title at Gator Invitational
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- No. 2 Alabama staged an impressive comeback on Sunday to capture the team title at the Gator Women's Invitational by three shots on the par-70, 6,002-yard Mark Bostick Golf Course.
The Crimson Tide made the turn at 7-over par and had slipped into third place behind fourth-ranked Oklahoma and fifth-ranked Florida. However, Alabama swung the momentum back in its direction by shooting 2-under par during its final nine holes for a three-shot win against OU and a five-stroke margin against the host Gators.
"It was another great come-from-behind win," Alabama head coach Mic Potter said. "We started very slowly, again, and dug ourselves a very sizeable hole. To the girl's credit, they never gave up and kept grinding. In the end, we were able to capitalize on mistakes from Oklahoma and Florida along with several good finishes from Hannah [Collier] and Jennifer [Kirby], who was steady all day."
Collier started her round on the second hole Sunday and struggled out of the gate, falling to 4-over-par after 10 holes. That is where she turned her game around and keyed the Tide comeback. Collier made five consecutive pars before getting a birdie on the 17th hole, a par on the 18th and a closing birdie on the par-4 first hole for a 2-over-par round of 72. She tied for 13th at 8-over 218.
Kirby began her final round on the fourth hole and quickly moved to 2-under with birdies on the sixth and seventh holes. A double bogey on the eighth moved her back to even par as she made par on the final 13 holes to help Alabama rally for the win. She finished tied for 16th individually with a 9-over 219.
Junior Stephanie Meadow was Alabama's leading scorer, finishing tied for fourth at 4-over-par 214. She shot 72 in the final round with a 1-under-par total on the back nine. Freshman Emma Talley also carded a 72 on Sunday to tie for ninth place at 7-over 217. Sophomore Daniela Lendl shot 75, but her score was not counted toward the team total.
The Tide shot 6-over-par 286 in the final round to finish at 25-over-par 865. Oklahoma posted a 28-over-par-total of 868 with UF at 870. Oklahoma State and Virginia tied for fourth at 37-over 877.
The win was Alabama's fourth win of the season and its fourth win in the past five events.