Florida’s men’s golf opened its spring season with a 23-stroke victory at the Sea Best Invitational at Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass highlighted by the first individual title of freshman Sam Horsfield’s college career.
“It was a great day. The team won, and I got the individual win, so it was a great day. I couldn’t be more proud of these guys. We’ve been working our butts off this whole winter, and the results showed this week,” Horsfield said.
No.45 ranked University of North Florida claimed a fifth-place finish and Jacksonville University came in tied for 12th.
UNF sophomore Jordan Batchelor recorded a career low 69 in the final round to earn a team-leading 14th place finish with a 54-hole total of 214. As a team, the Ospreys posted a three-round score of 860 after a final round 286. It was the team’s third top five team finish of the year.
Osprey’s freshmen Andrew Alligood and Phillip Knowles, who both tied for 18th at 216. Freshman Travis Trace finished tied for 29th at 218. Senior Taylor Hancock finished tied for 51st at 223.
“We got good rounds from Jordan and Travis to help carry the team,” said UNF head coach Scott Schroeder. “We had a solid finish to start the spring but made a bunch of mistakes that we need to learn from to get where we want to be by the end of the year.”
Franck Medale led JU with a 219 total (75-71-73). David Wicks had a 223 (72-74-77), as did Raul Pereda (72-73-78). Ryan Jahn had 227 (76-73-78), and Sam Uhland had 229 (74-79-76).
“The best team won,” said Dolphins’ head coach Mike Blackburn. “We played hard; it just wasn’t our week. We’ve got some work to do in the next two weeks before we head down to Gainesville.”
Horsfield was one of four Gators to earn top-five finishes. Horsfield, the first Gator freshman to collect an individual title since Billy Horschel in 2006, finished the tournament with a 7-under 203. It was his best tournament score of the year.
Florida shot a 3-over 283 in the final round to total -14 (826) and clinch the victory. Horsfield shot an even-par 70 to edge out sophomore teammate Alejandro Tosti by three strokes.
“It’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of early mornings, a lot of sacrifice, and they came out and were unbelievable this week,” added Gators’ head coach JC Deacon. “I think the first round was our lowest round since 2011. What a way to start the spring.”
Florida will host JU and UNF for the two-day SunTrust Gator Invitational in Gainesville beginning Feb. 20.
UNF TAKES HUGHES CUP - The North Florida women’s golf claimed their first outright victory over Jacksonville University posting a 9.5 to 2.5 decision in the 4th Annual Hughes Cup Match also played at TPC Sawgrass Dye’s Valley Course.
“The team played extremely well and held themselves together throughout the entire day,” said UNF head coach Joanne Berglund. “We fought hard through the morning matches and it was great to come out with the lead going into the afternoon matches. The team set a goal to go 6-0 in the afternoon singles matches and it was exciting to watch them do just that.”
The Ospreys earned a pair of victories in the best ball matches. The two squads split the scoring in the foursome (alternate shot) matches over the back nine of the Valley Course. Frost forced a delay in the start of play, the singles matches were forced to be shortened due to darkness but UNF proved strong in the solo competition as the Ospreys swept all six matches for the victory.
“While this isn’t the result you want in your first event, I saw a lot of good things from our team today,” said JU head coach Jennifer Borocz. “Our team is rather young, and sometimes that lack of experience makes it hard to close out a win. But we’ve got a lot of potential, and the future looks bright.”
UNF and JU return to competition on Monday, Feb. 22, in the Amelia Island Collegiate, which the Dolphins will host at the Amelia National Golf Club in Fernandina Beach, Fla.
FLAGLER HOSTS WORLD GOLF INVITE – No. 13 Flagler College women’s team finished in 10th place with a 36-hole score of 639 at the fourth annual World Golf Invitational at the Slammer & Squire Course.
No. 3 Florida Tech entered the final round by six strokes and they remained on top of the 18-team field with a 604 to win by 14 strokes. No. 2 Barry University finished second with a 618 while the top-ranked team in the NAIA, Keiser University, finished third with a 620.
Elsa Westin of Keiser was the leader in the clubhouse after the opening round but was caught by Florida Tech’s Brittany LaPadula. Westin secured her medalist honors in a playoff. Stephanie Tucker led the Saints with a 15-over 159. She finished in a tie for 28th place. Linn Weber finished one-shot back with a 16-over 160 and tied for 32nd place.
Flagler will play next in the Lady Moc Classic Feb. 22-23 in Lakeland, Fla.