LAKELAND, FL – The spring semester got underway quite a bit earlier than usual for the Florida Southern women's golf team as the Moccasins took on head coach Robbie Davis' alma mater, the University of Kentucky, in a rare dual match Tuesday at Grasslands Golf and Country Club. With both teams fielding a standard five-player lineup plus three individuals, the Moccasins came out on top 313-316, though the Wildcats' Leonie Bettell had the best individual score at three-under par 69.
The January 9 date was the earliest the Moccasins have ever played in the spring, but it gave the Wildcats a chance to slip away from the cold weather of Kentucky for what amounts to a preseason match for them. It was the first time Florida Southern had gone head-to-head against a single opponent since beating Buena Vista University in 2005.
Florida Southern's counting scores were turned in by Amanda Gartrell (76), Abbey Williams (78), Tori Higgins (79) and Ashley Zagers (80). All four Moccasin golfers either tied or shot better than their respective Kentucky playing partners, with Gartrell's five-stroke margin the largest. Gartrell had two birdies in her round, one of them on the par-4 No. 3, and the other on the par-3 No. 7. Higgins also had a pair of birdies on the front nine (the par-5 No. 2 and the par-3 No. 6). Williams ended her round with nine consecutive pars on the back nine and was one-over for the final 15 holes, and Zagers had a nine-hole run in the middle where she was +1.
Completing the Moccasin contingent on Tuesday were Kolby McWilliams (83), Madison Wetzel (84), Victoria Cangero (85) and Shelby Lewis (85). Lewis matched Gartrell and Higgins with two birdies on the front nine, with both of hers coming on the same holes as Gartrell's.
Bettell's 69 for the Wildcats gave her a 3-stroke win over teammates Isabelle Johansson and Grace Rose, who each carded a 72. All three were playing in the slots designated for individual scores during Tuesday's match.
Florida Southern returns to full tournament play February 3-4 at the Barton Invitational, which is being played at Kiawah Island, South Carolina.