Gators repeat as Suntrust Invitational champions

Maria Torres putts on the 18th hole in the Suntrust Gator Women’s Golf Invitational on Sunday at the Mark Bostick Golf Course. Torres claimed first place overall. Graham Hall/Correspondent

Senior Maria Torres, playing her final tournament at home for Florida, was expecting a strong finish in the final round.

But Torres didn’t anticipate beating one of the best amateurs in the world.

Led by Torres’ first-place overall finish and a tournament-best 66 in the final round, No. 6 Florida carded its second consecutive Suntrust Gator Women’s Golf Invitational on Sunday at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.

“We’ve been playing well, so I was glad to see us play well this week. But really I think the big difference maker was we managed our emotions very well this week,” UF coach Emily Glaser said. “This was probably the most at-ease I’ve seen our team before a home event.”

Torres entered the final round in second place overall Saturday after carding a 68, which set her up to be paired with Duke’s Leona Maguire.

Maguire, ranked No. 1 in the world in the women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking, shot a 69 on Sunday, as No. 10 Duke (855) finished as runner-up to Florida (847). Maguire, a member of the Irish National Team since 2007, entered the day leading the field after posting a bogey-free 67 on Saturday.

“It’s awesome to play with someone who is that good,” Torres said. “You want that competitive edge, that fire. And the battle you have between holes, it’s the best feeling ever.”

With UF holding a seven-shot lead entering the final round, all five Florida starters opened the final round inside the top 12 overall, with junior Taylor Tomlinson and freshman Marta Perez joining Torres inside the top five.
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