Miami places third at Florida Challenge

The Miami Hurricanes women’s golf team found itself in the middle of the pack on Monday, after finishing in third place at the six-team Florida Challenge.

Coach Patti Rizzo expects more from her squad moving forward as they continue into their spring season.

“It was our first event of the spring – not bad, but not great,” she said.

The No. 33 Hurricanes shot a combined 15-over par 591 through two rounds, finishing only nine strokes back of the winner. Central Florida (6-over par 582) took the title.

Although Florida State finished second at 8-over par 584, the Seminoles were able to snag individual tournament winners by just one stroke.

Florida State’s Alex Milan won the Florida Challenge with a solid 2-under par 142 through both rounds.

Miami junior Leticia Ras-Anderica led the way for the Canes, shooting 3-over par 147. She tied for seventh overall with freshman Daniela Darquea.

“I was able to gain some distance and power in my tee shots, thanks to my new driver,” Ras-Anderica said. “We had some fog in the morning, so it was hard to judge the distances, but we were able to make do off the tee.”

The veteran from Spain is averaging a career best 73.82 strokes through four tournaments played this season.

There are four more tournaments on the schedule before ACC Tournament rounds begin, and Ras-Anderica has already finished in the top 10 twice this season.

That leaves her one shy of last year’s mark, when she landed three top-10 standings.

“We could have performed a little better on the greens and in our approach game, but this season is going to be a process to climbing to the top,” Ras-Anderica said.

The team will look to continue to climb the ladder at their first three-round tournament of the spring: The UCF Challenge will be held Feb. 9 to 11 in Sorrento, Fla.

Miami will then host the annual Hurricane Invitational beginning March 3.