Saturday March 1, 2014Florida Sets Eyes on USF Invitational
Dade City, Fla.
Dade City, Fla.
After a disappointing team finish at the Gator Invitational in February, the Florida men’s golf team is looking to rebound at the USF Invitational this week as they will tackle the Lake Jovita South Course in Dade City from Sunday to Tuesday.
The Gators recorded their second-lowest team finish of the season (11th) at the Gator, with a final team score of 881, despite have three players finish in the top-20 (Redshirt Junior Santiago Gavino competed as an individual). Florida finished sixth in the first spring tournament, notching a score of 918 at the Sea Best Invitational at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra.
USF has been hosting the invitational for nine consecutive years, as North Carolina State took the 2013 crown with a final team score of 860 (-4). Florida will compete at the tournament for the first time in program history.
South Florida was recently selected to host the 2015 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division I Golf Championships, however, the event will be played The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla.
Course Information: The Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club South Course is a par-72, 6,690 yard course.
Tournament Information: The tournament will run from Sunday, Mar. 2 to Tuesday, Mar. 4 and is hosted by the University of South Florida.
Format: 54-hole stroke play where teams will play three rounds, 18 holes each day.
Sunday – 9 a.m.
Monday – TBA
Tuesday – TBA
· Junior Eric Banks (Truro, Canada) will compete in his second event for the Gators this spring, after finishing T18 (217) at the Gator last month. Banks fired rounds of 71-74-72 for his second-best performance of the year, checking in at seven-over at tournament close.
· Freshman Ryan Orr (Belleair, Fla.) will make his seventh consecutive appearance in tournament play for Florida. Orr is coming off his career-best performance at the Gator Invitational where he shot a career-low round of 71 and personal-best low tourney score of 218. The rookie finished T22, eight-over.
· Junior J.D. Tomlinson (Gainesville, Fla.) has seen action in every competition this far, finishing T31 and T18 in the first two events of the spring. Tomlinson tallied identical rounds to Banks at the Gator Invitational, sharing that spot inside the top-20. With his play at Florida’s home course, Tomlinson recorded his second-best tournament score of year (217).
· Freshman Victor Tarnstrom (Nykvarn, Sweden) returns to the Gator lineup after missing competition at the Gator Invitational. Tarnstrom has participated in the Orange and Blue’s other five events this season, carding a career-low round tournament score and finish of 215, T12 at the Shoal Creek Intercollegiate back in late September.
· Sophomore Richard Donegan (Okeechobee, Fla.) makes his second appearance in the Florida five-man lineup this spring after playing as an individual in the home invitational. Donegan’s scoring average was a 76.00 for the first two tournaments although at Sea Best he was the highest finisher at T24 and at the Gator he finished near the back of the pack at T60.
· Redshirt Junior Santiago Gavino (San Luis Potosi, Mexico) will compete as an individual for the fourth time this year for Florida. Gavino was the highest finishing individual at the Gator Invitational, notching rounds of 71-71-73 (215) to share a spot for 12th place, a season-best finish.
Buddy’s Bite: “Well, it’s another opportunity for us to get better first and foremost. I’ve said it all year, I think we are better than we played but you have to prove that at some point. So, looking forward to seeing how we do. This week we practiced a little differently and did some different things so we are hoping for the best.”
Eyeing the Competition: The field features four ranked opponents in the most recent Golf World/Nike Golf Division I Coaches’ Poll, including No. 6 Illinois, No. 17 Florida State, No. 21 South Florida and No. 24 Auburn. Florida will match-up with College of Charleston, Mercer and the Seminoles for the second time this spring while they also square-off with South Florida again, who took the team title at the Ocean Course back in Oct. where the Gators finished eighth.
The Field (Golf World/Nike Golf Division I Coaches’ Poll):
College of Charleston
Florida State (17)
Illinois ( 6)
South Florida (21)
Follow the Gators: Play will begin tomorrow as the field tees off at 9:00 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.