GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The 54th-ranked Miami Hurricanes women's golf team registered a sixth-place finish Sunday at the 41st annual SunTrust Gator Women's Invitational.
The Canes closed Sunday's final round with six birdies to finish the day with a 298 and a 54-hole total of 48-over 888, finishing 23 strokes behind tournament winner Alabama (25-over 865). The Crimson Tide claimed the tournament title by a three-stroke margin over Oklahoma, which finished at 28-over 868. Host Florida finished third at 30-over 870, followed by Oklahoma State and Virginia tied for fourth at 37-over 877.
Earning top medalist honors was Oklahoma's Chirapat Jao-Javanil, who fired a final-round 1-under 69 to finish the weekend at 4-under 206. Jao-Javanil was the lone golfer to finish the tournament under par. Virginia’s Portland Rosen finished second at 1-over 211.
"I thought we did really well," third-year head coach Patti Rizzo said. "The only teams that placed ahead of us are nationally ranked in the Top 21. I'm really proud of the team and this result will only help our ranking."
The Hurricanes are currently ranked No. 54 in the country with two tournaments remaining, including the ACC Championship that runs from April 19-21 in Greensboro, N.C.
"I'm feeling pretty good about our chances to make NCAA Regionals," Rizzo said. "You have to remember that we're still a very young team. We have two sophomores and two freshmen in our starting five. So where we are right now is great."
In sophomore Rika Park's final round, three bogeys would be answered with two birdies, as Park went on to card a final-round 1-over 71. Park's finish marks her second top-10 showing of the season and sixth of her career. The 5-over 215 overall was her best showing of the year, good for a sixth place tie with Florida’s Elcin Ulu.
"It feels great to be playing this well again, especially towards the end of the season," Park said. "I'm very excited for what's to come and I'm looking forward to the rest of the tournaments this season."
Coming off the Canes' low-round act on Saturday, sophomore Leticia Ras-Anderica notched her seventh top-25 performance of the year, posting 9-over 219 to tie for 16th. Junior Carina Cuculiza closed her tournament tied for 38th at 16-over 226, her second-lowest 54-hole score of the year.
The Miami Hurricanes will travel to San Diego for their final tune-up before the ACC Championship. Miami will compete March 31-April 2at the SDSU Farms Invitational.
|SUNTRUST GATOR WOMEN'S INVITATIONAL|
|t4.||(21) Oklahoma State||293-292-292=877||+37|
|7.||(49) Florida State||294-303-293=890||+50|
|t8.||(6) North Carolina||301-294-297=892||+52|
|13.||San Diego State||312-302-301=915||+75|
|MIAMI INDIVIDUAL RESULTS|