GREENSBORO, Ga. – Texas Tech sophomore golfer Sofia Garcia fired a 3-under-par 213 through 54 holes of play to collect the first solo first place finish of her career Sunday as the Red Raiders finished in third place at the Reynolds Lake Oconee Invitational.
Garcia, who has now finished with at least a share of the individual title in two of Tech's five events this year, wrapped a 2-under 70 card to conclude the second round and then added a 1-over round later in the day. She closed the tournament three shots clear of the field as the only player under par.
"I'm really happy for Sofia to play this way the first time out this spring," Tech head coach JoJo Robertson said after Garcia became the 10th Red Raider all-time with multiple career medalist honors. "She has worked hard on her game the past year, and it is definitely showing."
Garcia has now finished in the top-11 in all five of Tech's events this season, including three top-three showings. Her previous first-place finish came at the Illini Invitational in early October where she broke her personal 54-hole scoring record with a 9-under 207 to share first place.
Tech's joint third place finish marked its highest of the season as the Red Raiders were tied with Kentucky, trailing only host Mercer in second place and team champion No. 3 Vanderbilt. The Red Raiders closed the two-day event at 32-over as a team, three strokes back of Mercer. Vanderbilt ran away with the event at 17-over overall.
In addition to Garcia, sophomore Louisa Brunt and freshman Anna Dong both recorded top-20 finishes with Brunt coming in a tie for 13th at 10-over for the tournament and Dong in a tie for 19th a stroke back. The finish was the highest of the season for Brunt, who was joined by Dong and sophomore Amy Taylor with similar 5-over final 18 holes.
Fellow freshman Cecilie Nielsen posted Tech's second-lowest final round card, signing for a 3-over round to finish at 16-over in a tie for 42nd overall. She closed the weekend tied with senior Mami Yamamoto, who was participating as an individual. Taylor trailed the duo by a stroke in a tie for 49th overall.
Tech will return to action Feb. 25 at the Dickson Invitational in Houston, Texas.