Thursday September 12, 2013No. 18 Gators Open Season at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational
The No. 18 Florida men’s golf team will tee off the 2013-14 season at the eighth-annual Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational in Olympia Fields, Ill. tomorrow. The tournament will run Sept. 13-15 and is being hosted by the University of Illinois.
This will mark the fifth-straight season the Gators will compete at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational. Florida earned a team championship at Olympia in 2010 and was the runner-up in 2012. The Gators hold a tournament record at Olympia Fields for the Best Final Team Score (845) from their victory in 2010.
Course Information: Olympia Fields Country Club is a par-70, 7,142 yard course with 54 holes.
Friday First Group – 10 a.m.
Saturday First Group – 10 a.m.
Sunday First Group – 9 a.m.
· Freshman Ryan Orr (Belleair, Fla.) will make his collegiate debut with the Gators this weekend. Orr has many amateur accolades, including earning first place finishes at the 2012 US Junior Qualifier, the 2012 AJGA Florida Junior and the 2012 Florida Junior Tour boys Major.
· Freshman Victor Tarnstrom (Nykvarn, Sweden) is one of four international players on this year’s squad. Tarnstrom recorded a win in the 2012 European Boys Team and Individual Stroke-Play Championship and will tee off for the first time as a Gator this weekend.
· Redshirt freshman Conor Richardson (West Palm Beach, Fla.) is ready to contribute on the course for the Orange and Blue after sitting out last season.
· Junior Eric Banks (Truro, Canada) will face the Olympia course for his first time with Florida this weekend. Banks owned the third-best mark on the team last season in rounds at or under par (nine), scoring differential (4.00), and stroke average (73.43).
· Junior J.D. Tomlinson (Gainesville, Fla.) returns to Olympia for the third-straight time. As a freshman, Tomlinson shot 77-76-74 (+17) and improved by seven strokes in his sophomore campaign with rounds of 72-73-75 (+10).
Buddy’s Bite: “This is exciting and it’s going to be interesting. I think this may be the youngest lineup I have put on the course. We have three freshmen and two juniors. There is a lot of excitement in the unknown about these guys. I am anxious to get started and see where we are.”
Battle of the Best: Among the 15 participants this weekend, Florida will be facing seven other ranked opponents, including two SEC rivals. Alabama is the defending NCAA Division I National Champion and Arkansas is the defending team champion of the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational. Three other 2013 participants have also claimed the Olympia team title (Stanford: 2011, Illinois: 2008, Oklahoma State: 2007).
Tournament Field (Preseason Golf World/Nike Golf Division I Coaches’ Poll):
Florida State (13)
Oklahoma State (8)
Southern Methodist (21)
Follow the Gators: Play will begin tomorrow as the first group tees off at 10 a.m. Live scoring will be available on GolfStat.com. A complete recap with full results will be posted on GatorZone.com following the day’s play.