BEALLSVILLE, Md., APRIL 11, 2017 – USF captured the first title of the Tiffany Prats era with a 10-shot victory at the Hoya Invitational on Tuesday.
In their final regular season event, all three seniors posted counting scores in the final round to help the Bulls finish off the wire-to-wire victory at Four Streams (par 72, 6,127 yards). USF won its first title since 2012 and was followed in the top five by host Georgetown (+45), Princeton (+46), Yale (+49) and Rollins College (+50).
Three Bulls placed in the top 10 with Nicole Autrique leading the way. The senior from Mexico City carded her second consecutive 73 to tie for third place at 6-over, three shots away from individual medalist Alexa Popowitz of Georgetown.
Junior Maria Rodriguez (Cali, Colombia) registered her second top-10 finish of the season, tying for fifth place at 8-over. Ashley Burke (Boynton Beach, Fla.) put together the first top-10 performance of her senior season, tying for eighth place at 9-over.
Freshman Mariale Merchan (Caracas, Venezuela) secured the first top-25 finish of her career by tying for 25th place at 15-over. Senior Taylor Moody (Plantation, Fla.) turned in USF’s third-best score of the final round with a 77 and tied for 43rd place at 21-over.
Head coach Tiffany Prats on what the title win means for the program:
“I’m so proud of this team! It has been a year of many ups and downs, and it’s special to close out our regular season with a win. This is all part of the process of getting USF back to being one of the top teams in the country.”
Prats on the seniors finally getting to enjoy a tournament victory:
“For the seniors, it has been four years without a team win, so this one is for them. It was a total team effort this week and to have all three of our seniors count the final round was special. It was awesome having three girls finish in the top 10 and Nicole played great golf throughout the whole event.”
Prats on what the victory can do for the Bulls:
“We started the day with a nine-shot lead and won by 10, so it shows our team can handle being in the lead. This win is so important to our confidence heading into conference. Now it’s time to get home and get ready to head to conference on Friday.”
- This marks USF’s first tournament victory since the Bulls captured the Big East Championship in 2012.
- Nicole Autrique (T3) collected her team-leading third top-10 finish of the season and her fourth top-25 outing.
- Maria Rodriguez led the field with a par-4 scoring average of 3.97 and led the Bulls with nine birdies, one off the tournament lead.
- Ashley Burke was tops among all players with a par-5 scoring average of 4.67. Burke finished second on the team with eight total birdies.
USF will shoot for another title at the three-day American Athletic Conference Championship that begins Sunday at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Fla.