<-- UF's Brooks in contention for NCAA golf title

UF junior Sierra Brooks

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Florida junior Sierra Brooks did not lose any moment in the down time Sunday after a weather suspension Saturday.

Besides one bogey late in the day Saturday, Brooks put together an impressive second round over two days. She had four birdies over the first 11 holes Saturday and three birdies over her seven holes Sunday. Brooks’ second-round score of 67 (-6) puts her in sole possession of first place heading into Monday’s final round of stroke play.

The Gators sit 13th at 615 (+31), if they make a run Monday and finish inside the top eight teams they will advance to match play Tuesday. Duke leads at 586 (+2).

“Today was a huge day for us,” UF coach Emily Bastel Glaser said. “It was all going to boil down to how we handled yesterday’s adversity with being called off the course for weather. Do we come out today and create come momentum or do we go the wrong way? I’m so proud of how we responded this morning. We came out and were assertive from the start.”

The story of the day was the pairing of Brooks and Maria Fassi of Arkansas, another top player on the leaderboard and No. 3 amateur in the world. Brooks and Fassi entered their final hole of the second round both at three-under and in a tie for first place. They had near identical drives on the 264-yard, par 4 hole. Their shots on the green landed almost right next to each other. The only difference? Maybe an inch. Brooks’ putt went straight in the hole and Fassi’s rolled around the rim and sat on the edge.

“Sierra was outstanding today,” Glaser said. “She had some momentum yesterday and it was tough to have play suspended and potentially lose that momentum but we picked up right where she left off yesterday and had a super strong finish. Tomorrow will be a fun day for her not only in contention for the individual title but also playing hard to give her team a chance to make match play.”

The final round of Championship play begins first thing Monday morning at 8 a.m. (ET). The Gators tee times will begin at 9:06.