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Friday March 14, 2014Gators Continue Spring at 35th Annual Chris Schenkel Invitational

Statesboro, Ga.

Florida will continue their spring season at the 35th annual Chris Schenkel Invitational beginning tomorrow at the Forest Heights Country Club in southeast Georgia.  

The Gators posted a season-best tournament score of 856 (-8) to claim a ninth place finish at the USF Invitational on Mar. 4, as they were led by junior J.D. Tomlinson who fired a career-low 64 in round three. Florida is looking to continue their momentum at the Schenkel this weekend.

Since its launch in 1971, the Chris Schenkel Invitational has been one of the most prestigious events in collegiate golf. Florida has a rich history at the event, playing in every tournament since 1989.  UF has finished in the top-five for the last three years, including sealing the runner-up spot in 2011 with a final team score of 848 (-16) as Bank Vongvanij took individual medalist honors with his 207 (-9).

In 2012, the Gators shot an impressive 847 (-17) to tie for third and notched a fourth place finish last year with an 873. Alabama took the 2013 tournament crown, firing 16-under to capture the win by 10 strokes. 

Course Information: The Forest Heights Country Club is a par-72, 6,962 yard course.

Tournament Information: The tournament will run from Friday, Mar. 14 to Sunday, Mar. 16 and is hosted by Buddy Alexander’s alma mater, Georgia Southern.

Format: 54-hole event where teams will play 18 each day of the tournament.

Tee Times:

Friday – 9 a.m. 

Saturday – TBA

Sunday – TBA 

The Lineup:

  • Junior J.D. Tomlinson (Gainesville, Fla) notched a career-low 64 at the USF Invitational earlier this month, finishing off with a new low tourney score of 207 and landing in a tie for seventh place to push the Gators to a ninth place finish. Tomlinson will tackle the Forest Heights Country Club for the third time in his career after shooting a 219 (+3) there last year.   
  • Junior Eric Banks (Truro, Canada) will make his third start in the Florida five-man lineup this spring. Banks carded rounds of 78-68-73 (219) at the Lake Jovita Course to start March. His 68 tied his career-low, set lin last year’s Schenkel. This will be Banks’ third-go at Forest Heights after shooting even par as the highest finishing Gator (T11) in 2013.
  • Freshman Ryan Orr (Belleair, Fla) has competed in every tournament this season for the Gators. He fired a personal-best 217 at the USF Invitational, replacing his previous best set at the Gator Invitational last month.  
  • Sophomore Richard Donegan (Okeechobee, Fla.) has seen action in every event after transferring to UF in January. After being Florida’s best finisher at the Sea Best Invitational to kick off the spring, Donegan hasn’t quite found his rhythm yet as he is eager for consistent and solid play this weekend.
  • Freshman Victor Tarnstrom (Nykvarn, Sweden) enters his second-consecutive event after missing competition at the Gator Invitational last month. Tarnstrom recorded rounds of 73-76-72 at the USF Invitational, checking in in a shared spot for 66th. His best performance this year came at the Shoal Creek Intercollegiate back in late September where he shot a career-low 215 and finished T12.
  • Redshirt Junior Santiago Gavino (San Luis Potosi, Mex.) enters the Schenkel competing as an individual for the fifth time this season for the Gators. Gavino was the highest finishing solo player at the Gator Invitational last month after notching a score of215 and will look to conquer Forest Heights for the first time in his career.

Buddy’s Bite: “The Schenkel is a special event in that basically it’s a blueprint of how college golf is played today. They were first tournament to do all of the things that tournaments now do for teams and players. It’s a great, older, traditional event that is played on a very good golf course and we’re excited to be playing in it.”

“We have the same six guys competing that we did at Lake Jovita, with one playing as an individual. Hopefully, the last two rounds at Jovita will carry into this event. J.D. (Tomlinson) shot a 64 in the last round and those are the little things that might help us. I think, most importantly, we have to get off to good start. Friday will be important for us. It’s a field that we can be competitive with and I have a good feeling going in.”

Eyeing the Competition: Highlighting the field are four ranked teams in the most recent Golf World/Nike Golf Division I Coaches’ Poll including No. 7 UCF, No. 9 Virginia, No. 13 UAB and No. 22 Texas. Florida will compete with Central Florida, North Florida and UAB for the second time this spring.

The Field (Golf World/Nike Golf Division I Coaches’ Poll):

College of Charleston



Georgia Southern

Georgia State



Ole Miss

NC State

North Florida

North Texas

Texas (22)

UAB (13)

UCF (7)

Virginia (9)


Follow the Gators: Play will begin tomorrow as the field tees off at 9:00 a.m. Live scoring will be available on A complete recap with full results will be posted on following the day’s play.

 For complete coverage of the Gators’ men’s golf program visit, follow @GatorZoneGolf on Twitter and ‘like’ the University of Florida Men’s Golf page on Facebook.



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