Freshman Andy Zhang has arrived and made an immediate impact.
After missing the first tournament with a wrist injury, Zhang took the greens in a Gator uniform for the first time on Sunday, and he showed why he is the second ranked golfer in Golfweek’s Class of 2016 ranking.
At the end of the second round of the Windon Memorial Championship in Glenview, Illinois, Zhang is in second place at 6 under par, trailing the leader, Jordan Hahn of Wisconsin, by only one stroke.
Behind Zhang’s play, the Gators have a solid lead heading into the final day, sitting at 8 under par with a two stroke lead over their competition.
Zhang nailed 12 birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey, and weaved in and out of first place all day.
But he wasn’t alone at the top.
Sophomore Gordon Neale finished the day in a tie for third behind a performance featuring eight birdies and four bogeys to sit at 4 under par.
Junior Ryan Celano, after hitting nine birdies and eight bogeys on the day, finished in a tie for 13th.
Senior Ryan Orr shot seven bogeys, five birdies and a double bogey over the first two rounds to end in a tie for 30th.
The surprise of the day, though, was sophomore Sam Horsfield.
After hitting a quadruple bogey on the first round, he just couldn’t get back in it. He proceeded to hit four bogeys, a double bogey and just one birdie.
The second round didn’t fare much better. Horsfield tacked on five more bogeys and two birdies, sitting at 12 over par, good for a share of 69th.
The Gators tee off in the final day of the Windon Memorial Championship on Monday, looking to hold onto their lead. Both Zhang and Neale are within striking distance of taking first place.
Women’s Team: The women’s golf team got off to a slow start on Sunday at the ANNIKA Classic in Orlando, Florida.
Despite the success Florida found at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship, a first place team finish and three golfers placing within the top 10, it couldn’t ride that wave of momentum to an early lead.
But it was only the first round.
In the first round of the tournament, the Gators finished fifth at 6 under par, eight strokes behind the tournament leader, South Carolina.
“We left a few out there, but I thought overall we played well,” coach Emily Glaser said in a release. “We had a lot of opportunities, and if we capitalize on a few more over the next few days we will be very competitive.”
Seniors Maria Torres and Karolina Vlckova and freshman Carlotta Ricolfi were the only three Gators to hit below par.
Torres finished the day in a tie for sixth place, hitting five birdies and just one bogey to hit at 4 under par.
Both Vlckova and Ricolfi are in a tie for 22nd after shooting 1 under par.
Vlckova hit three birdies and two bogeys, while Ricolfi, in her debut, shot two birdies and one bogey.
Freshman Marta Perez shot at even par after hitting three birdies and three bogies, good for a share of 28th place.
Rounding out the team for Florida, sophomore Sam Wagner shot six bogeys to just three birdies, putting her score at 3 over par in a share of 50th place.
The Gators will look to close the gap between themselves and South Carolina when they tee off in the second round of the ANNIKA Classic on Monday.
Freshman Gordon Neale hits a ball during Day 2 of the SunTrust Gator Invitational on Feb. 21, 2016, at the Mark Bostic Golf Course.