It’s impossible not to speculate how Gartrell and the Lady Mocs would have fared as a team this week at the NCAA tournament, the season cut two months short amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a way, Amanda Gartrell’s storied career at Florida Southern culminated exactly how it should have – winning her final tournament, celebrating with teammates and earning first-team All-American honors.


But it’s impossible not to speculate how Gartrell and the Lady Mocs would have fared as a team this week at the NCAA tournament, the season cut two months short amid the coronavirus pandemic.


In late February and early March, Gartrell was on a roll, breaking records in nearly every tournament round. She carded a career low 67 at Grasslands’ Lady Moc Classic, then matched a longstanding school record of 66 at Rollins’ Peggy Kirk Bell Classic. Forty-eight hours later, Gartrell learned some tough news.


“Obviously, I didn’t expect my career to come to an end in the parking lot of a golf course – I had always envisioned it ending at nationals, with my team,” Gartrell said. “But finding out via a tweet that your career was over? That was tough.”


With the season officially over, the Women’s Golf Coaches Association didn’t wait long to vote and distribute honors for the 2019/2020 season.


First, Gartrell learned she had earned All-Region Honors, an accomplishment in the nation’s most decorated region. A couple of days later, Gartrell, who had earned second-team honors her sophomore and junior seasons, learned she would finish her final season with the highest honor in collegiate golf – first-team All-American.


“Amanda set a goal at the beginning of the season to be an All-American,” Coach Robbie Davis said. “It’s amazing what happens when you set positive goals.”


Said Gartrell: “I was definitely glad that the last memories of college golf will be positive. And it was fun to finally get that first-team All-American spot”.


Beginning June 10 at Providence Golf Club in Davenport, Gartrell will embark on a new quest; playing her first professional tournament.


“I’m really pumped (about turning professional). I’m excited to prove to myself that I can compete at this next level. I actually think it will be less pressure, knowing that there’s not a team counting on you and your score. It’s just… you.”


Gartrell will compete this summer on the Eggland’s Best Tour, formerly the Sunshine Tour.


Perez makes second team


Joining Gartrell in the All-American circle, Bartow’s Loren Perez turned it up a notch in her sophomore season, earning second-team All-American honors.


Perez turned in a stellar fall season, earning medalist honors at the Saint Leo Invitational and a second-place finish at the Battle for Olde South. Perez finished the year as the 23rd ranked player in the country and will look to lead the Lady Mocs next season.


“Loren’s got a great future ahead for her,” Davis said. “Amanda gave her something to strive for.”


Fosdick makes men’s third team


Florida Southern’s Chris Fosdick hit the ground running in his freshman season, pacing the team with a 72 average, playing all seven events.


As a result, the Middlefield, Connecticut, native earned third-team All-American honors, along with being named to the 2020 NCAA Division II PING All-Freshman team. Fosdick played well from the outset, placing fifth in his first collegiate event.


Based off the NCAA’s decision to extend spring athletes an extra year of eligibility, Fosdick will be eligible to play four more years.


A reopening


Indian Lake Estates Golf & Country Club has reopened after a brief closing because of the coronavirus pandemic.


The course and pro shop opened Friday. Its hours are 7 a.m. to noon Monday through Sunday.


Contact Joel Helm at helmjoeld@gmail.com.