GAINESVILLE, MARCH 12, 2017 – Maria “Nani” Merchan’s best finish of the season helped boost the Bulls up to eighth place in the final round of the SunTrust Gator Invitational on Sunday.
Merchan carded a 73 in the final round and jumped up 11 spots to a tie for 27th place among 78 competitors. At 14-over, the sophomore from Caracas, Venezuela finished three shots outside of the top 25. Only two players completed the tournament under par at Mark Bostick Golf Course (par 70, 6,002 yards).
USF (+57) moved up one spot in the final round to secure its fourth top-10 finish in eight events this season. No. 6 Florida (+7) won its home event and was followed in the top five by No. 11 Duke (+15), No. 25 UCF (+23), Campbell (+42) and Clemson (+44).
Maria Rodriguez collected three birdies in the final round and carded a 71, USF’s best score of the weekend. The junior from Cali, Colombia tied for 35th place with seniors Nicole Autrique (Mexico City) and Ashley Burke (Boynton Beach, Fla.) at 16-over.
- Florida’s Maria Torres (-5) posted a two-shot victory over Duke’s Leona Maguire. The two were the only players to finish under par out of 77 competitors with complete scores.
- Ashley Burke led the team with six of the Bulls’ 19 total birdies. Maria Rodriguez collected five birdies, while Maria “Nani” Merchan finished with four.