Florida Wins Third Title at Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Women’s Golf Championship
NEW ORLEANS (February 18, 2020) – Clara Manzalini led the University of Florida to its third title in the last five years at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship on Tuesday at English Turn Golf and Country Club. The 10th annual event, hosted by Tulane University and featuring top women’s golf teams from around the country, began on Sunday and featured three rounds of 18 holes over the three days. The Gators also won the title in 2016 and 2018.
Florida, ranked No. 10 in the country, used a complete team effort to win the title by a commanding 16 strokes. All five players in the Gators’ lineup finished in the top-15 individually. Florida shot a final-round 11-under to finish with a tournament total of 853 (23-under par). No. 32 Miami finished second at 869 (minus-7) and No. 13 Michigan State was third at 875 (minus-1). No. 47 Denver (877, plus-1) and No. 23 Houston (879, plus-3) rounded out the top five. The host Green Wave was seventh (882, plus-6).
“I’m really excited by what I saw from the team this week,” said Florida head coach Emily Glaser. “We played really solid golf from one to five which is great to see.”
Manzalini, a product of Italy, played steady during the first two rounds of the tournament, but really hit her stride through the final 18 holes. The sophomore fired off a blemish-free 6-under 67 in the last round to secure the first individual collegiate win of her career (shared with Miami’s Anna Backman). Manzalini is the third straight Gator to earn top medalist honors at the Allstate Sugar Bowl individual title following Addie Baggarly (2019) and Sierra Brooks (2018).
“I’m very happy about the win especially because it was my first one as a Gator,” said Manzalini. “My game was very solid and I have been very patient on the course these past three days. It’s great to see all the work paying off. I’m also extremely proud of the team, they played great and showed toughness from the first to last hole. Now we’re all looking forward to our home event.”
Backman, a native of Finland, was tied for third at five-under-par going into the final round, but she added 17 par or better holes in the final round to share the individual title. Overall, the sophomore collected 10 birdies and an eagle to earn her second collegiate title in as many years.
Five different players tied for third place with scores of 214 (minus-5). Florida’s Addison Baggarly and Houston’s Ariana Saenz each tallied two-under final rounds to move up to third and match Denver’s Mary Weinstein, SMU’s Serena Shah and N.C. State’s Mim Sangkapong.
The event featured 15 teams from 10 different states and eight different conferences. It also featured individual golfers from 25 different countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United States and Wales.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 93 Hall of Fame players, 50 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 86-year history. The 87th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will double as a College Football Playoff Semifinal, will be played on January 1, 2021. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors nearly 100,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.5 billion into the local economy in the last decade.