Carter’s Corner: Fuller ends on a sweet note

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — On a hot Sunday afternoon at Mark Bostick Golf Course, the defending VyStar Gator Invitational champion cooled off with some ice after her final round.

junior alligator Annabell Fuller, through Kingston upon Thames, England, did not repeat as the leading individual scorer. That honor belonged to Michigan’s Ashley Lau, who clocked a 66th final round to edge Oklahoma State’s Han-Hsuan Yu by one shot. Lau and Yu were the only two players to finish the tournament under par.

Meanwhile, Fuller joined eight players in a deadlock tied for fourth, finishing 2-over (71-72-69—212). Shortly after finishing his inning, Fuller had a date with a cup of ice cream as the Gators rallied to finish tied for the top of the team standings with Michigan.

While she was too far behind the leaders to catch up on Sunday, Fuller’s 69 has improved her prospects as she prepares for a third trip to the Augusta National Women’s Amateur later this month in Augusta, in Georgia.

“I did a lot better,” Fuller said of his final lap. “I had a few more putts. It was a good day.”

Fuller finished strong, shooting a 33 on the back nine on Sunday with birdies on numbers 11, 12, 15 and 17. A year ago at the Gator Invitational, Florida’s only home tournament of the season, Fuller shot a final round 66 to finish 5 under and claim the first individual title of his college career.

 

UF Coach Emily Glaser said Fuller was heading in the right direction towards ANWA, which started in 2019 and quickly became a flagship event for top female amateurs.

“I think every week she gets a little bit better,” Glaser said. “She’s been playing well and the numbers don’t quite show it. I’m glad she’s shooting some good numbers this week. I think that’s going to really help her gain confidence. She’s a class player world. She really showed some maturity in how she handled those situations.”

At last year’s ANWA, Fuller finished tied for 22nd, posting a final 79 at historic Augusta National, home of the Masters. She missed the cut at the inaugural event in 2019, which featured UF’s Sierra Brooks (10th) and Marta Perez (T21e).

On Sunday, Fuller considered his signature moment a birdie on the 12th. With the gallery hanging near the nearby clubhouse, Fuller’s approach landed just yards from the hole. She dropped the putt for a birdie.

“I stuck my ground nice and close,” she said.

Fuller said she entered the Gator Invitational eye improvement from the tee and onto the green. She knows that to have a chance in Augusta, both are imperative.

“If you don’t have either, you can never get a good round together,” she said. “This tournament, I started working on it a bit. These greens really make it difficult, which kind of replicates the Augusta greens.”

Fuller joined her teammates for a photo commemorating a seventh consecutive tournament title after completing her ice cup. It definitely tasted a bit sweeter thanks to its final turn.

About Richard Chandler

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