Florida Southern Finishes Fifth at World Golf Invitational to Start the Spring

Loren Perez
Loren Perez

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA. – Florida Southern got a team-best 76 from Loren Perez in the second round, and a 13th-place finish overall from Amanda Gartrell to wrap up the World Golf Invitational in fifth place out of 18 teams.

Playing in their first tournament of the spring, the 10th-ranked Moccasins followed Sunday's opening round of 300 with a 311 on Monday, and that dropped them from second to fifth in the standings. Nova Southeastern won the tournament with rounds of 288 and 291 that gave the Sharks an overall score of 579 (+3), and a 23-shot margin over second-place Tampa, which had a 295 Monday. Saint Leo was third at +29, host Flagler was fourth at +33, and Florida Southern edged out Young Harris and Savannah Art & Design by one shot to take fifth at +35.

Nova Southeastern's Sofia Garcia Austt, who set the tournament single-round scoring record with a 67 Sunday, shot a 69 Monday to set the overall scoring record at eight-under-par 136. She began the day with a four-shot lead and won by five over Tampa's Kiira Riihijarvi, who finished with a three-under-par 141 (72-69). The only other golfer who broke par in the tournament was Nova Southeastern's Nicola Fall at -1 (73-70=143).

All four Florida Southern counters were in the 70s, led by Perez with her 76. Nathalie Svensson shot a 77, and Gartrell and Tori Higgins each had a 79. Madi Wetzel was the Mocs' fifth golfer with an 82. Shelby Lewis, playing as an individual, had a 75.

Even though Perez had the Mocs' best score Monday, Gartrell was still their top golfer overall with a 150 (+6) that had her tied for 13th in the field of 98. Wetzel and Lewis were tied for 21st with 153s, Higgins was tied for 35th with a 156, Perez was tied for 40th with a 157, and Svensson was tied for 80th with a 166.

Gartrell also tied for third in the tournament with six birdies, with Higgins one behind her.

Florida Southern's next tournament is the Lady Moc Classic, which it hosts at Grasslands Golf and Country Club, February 18-19.