After two rounds of play, the University of Miami and the University of South Florida women’s golf teams competed in a one-hole playoff to decide the Florida Challenge on Monday.
The Hurricanes staked their claim as the best in the state of Florida by winning the competition (their first of the spring season) at Black Diamond Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Fla.
The teams were tied with a score of 593 before the one-hole playoff. The University of Florida, Florida State University and Florida International University rounded out the final places in that order.
The win showed off the team’s individual depth, as Daniela Darquea, Leticia Ras-Anderica and Delfina Acosta each finished with a final score of 148, good enough to finish tied for fifth individually.
Sophomores Darquea and Acosta both came to UM as the No. 1-ranked amateur women golfers in their home countries of Ecuador and Argentina, respectively. Both achieved All-ACC Academic honors and Darquea became UM’s first All-American selection since 1994. Ras-Anderica, a senior from Spain, was an All-ACC selection as a sophomore and received All-ACC academic honors as a junior.
“I’m really proud of our team,” said Head Coach Patti Rizzo. “They really hung in there today with some tough conditions. I think this is a group that is really starting to believe in themselves, which is great to see.”
Darquea topped the individual leader board after one round with a score of 70, while Acosta had the second-most birdies in the competition. Ras-Anderica tied for the tournament lead with 25 pars.
The Hurricanes look to make an NCAA Regional tournament for the third straight season after making the West Regional in 2013 and the Central Regional in 2014. After a slight decline in the late ’90s and early 2000s, Rizzo has the team on an upward trend towards making noise in the national tournament again – their last national championship came in 1984.
The team plays five more competitions before the ACC Championship in April. Their next game will be Sunday, Feb. 8 in the UCF Challenge in Orlando.