LECANTO, Fla. - Sophomore Leticia Ras-Anderica recorded her fifth top-5 finish of her career to lead the Miami Hurricanes women's golf team to a third-place finish Monday at the inaugural Florida Challenge at Black Diamond Ranch.
The tournament, which featured five of the top programs in Florida, was won by the Florida Gators, who finished nine strokes ahead of second-place Florida State. Miami finished four strokes behind Florida State for third.
Ras-Anderica tied for fifth, shooting 3-over 147 after rounds of 72 and 75. Her first-round 72 was her best first round of the season and best since firing a 71 at last season's Battle at Rancho Bernardo on March 19, 2012.
"It feels good to be back," Ras-Anderica said. "This was a nice tournament to start off our season."
Freshman Laura Hendee tied for 12th after tallying her best 36-hole performance after shooting 72-78=150, besting her previous low of 155 by five strokes.
"I couldn't be more excited for the rest of the season," Hendee said. "I put in a lot of hard work in the offseason and I finally feel in control of my game, which is a feeling I lacked in the fall.
"Overall today went pretty well. The first round every part of my game was in sync and it just felt easy and comfortable. About halfway through the second round, I lost my swing a little, but managed to recover in the end and birdie on 18."
One stroke behind and in 14th place was fellow freshman Christina Ocampo who carded a 7-over 151. After sophomore Rika Park shot a first-round 79, she rallied back with a second-round 73 to end the tournament in 15th place.
Like Hendee, junior Carina Cuculiza would also record her best two-round total of the season with first and second rounds of 78 and 78, respectively, while finishing tied for 23rd.
Two Canes also competed as individuals at the Florida Challenge. Freshman Lauren Riehle set her own 36-hole personal best with rounds of 79 and 76. Newcomer Audrey Monsohh completed her first tournament as a member of the Orange and Green with rounds of 79 and 82 for a 29th-place finish.
Continuing to improve has been the goal with this young team for head coach Patti Rizzo and they're seeing it happen as coach Rizzo stated, "We did well today, I'm happy. We're making progress."
The Canes will be back in action on Feb. 4-5 for the Hurricane Invitational at Deering Bay Yacht & Country Club in Coral Gables.
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