Thornhill’s Lauren Zaretsky nabs first ever NCAA title at UCF Women’s Challenge

Golf Canada

Canada’s Lauren Zaretsky can already cross winning an NCAA tournament off her goals list.

The golfer from Thornhill, Ont., led from wire-to-wire to win the UCF Women’s Challenge on Monday for her first-ever collegiate title.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders sophomore fired a career-best 8-under 64 in the first round of the three-round event and never looked back to claim the title at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando, Fla.

“I had high goals,” said Zaretsky, who had to overcome injury issues over the past few months. “After shooting my best score ever and being in contention for winning, I think I just had to keep my foot on the gas and hope to win it in the end.”

Zaretsky was dominant in her first collegiate tournament of 2024, with rounds of 64-71-68 to finish 13 under and win by three strokes.

The 20-year-old said that her strong performance came despite having injured knees.

“I have a torn meniscus in one of my knees and probably both my knees are torn,” said Zaretsky, noting that golf carts were permitted at the UCF Women’s Challenge. “They were kind of bothering me in the first semester, so I’ve been trying to get back to feeling 100 per cent. Now I pretty much feel 100 per cent.”

Now that Zaretsky has a taste for victory at the collegiate level she wants to keep pushing herself to greater heights.

“I’m trying to hopefully to win more college events and the big dream would be to win a national championship,” said Zaretsky. “As a team and as an individual would be the ultimate goal.

“I think that’s the biggest achievement you can have at the NCAA level. Hopefully my team can make it this year, and then I have a chance to do it on both ends.”

She’ll have her first crack at a second title starting Monday when Texas Tech hosts NEXUS Collegiate at Albany Golf Club in New Providence, Bahamas.

Fairways Magazine

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