GAINESVILLE, MARCH 11, 2017 – Senior Ashley Burke helped put the Bulls in position for another top-10 finish with a solid 36-hole performance Saturday at the SunTrust Gator Invitational.
Burke (Boynton Beach, Fla.) collected three of her five birdies in the second round and finished the Bulls’ busy day a shot outside the top 25 at 9-over (75-74). USF cut 13 shots off its first-round score in the afternoon and moved up two spots to ninth place at Mark Bostick Golf Course (par 70, 6,002 yards).
Host Florida (+5) has the lead and the No. 6 Gators are followed in the top five by No. 11 Duke (+12), No. 25 UCF (+19), Campbell (+29) and Maryland (+30).
Freshman Mariale Merchan (Caracas, Venezuela) also helped lead the charge in her return to the lineup, finishing the day two shots away from the top 25 at 10-over (76-74).
Maria “Nani” Merchan posted USF’s best score of the day with a 2-over 72 in the second round. The sophomore from Venezuela is tied for 38th place with senior Nicole Autrique at 11-over.
- USF is shooting for its fourth top-10 finish in eight events this season.
- Only two of 77 players finished the day under par. Duke’s Leona Maguire (-2) has a one-shot lead on Florida’s Maria Torres heading into the final round.
- Ashley Burke finished the day with five birdies, only three away from tournament lead.