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<p>Sam Horsfield watches his ball roll toward the cup during Day 1 of the SunTrust Gator Invitational on Feb. 20, 2016, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.</p>

Sam Horsfield watches his ball roll toward the cup during Day 1 of the SunTrust Gator Invitational on Feb. 20, 2016, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.

While Florida may not have started the Carpet Capital Invitational the way it wanted to, one golfer set the pace for every other competitor to follow.

Sophomore Sam Horsfield had a great start to the Fall season, nailing eight birdies and only one bogey en route to a 7-under-par performance for sole possession of first place.

His lead seems to be a continuation of the success he achieved last year, when he won three tournaments and finished in the top-five eight times.

“Sam (Horsfield) was huge for us,” coach J.C. Deacon said in a release. “Just continuing to be a rock in the cleanup spot in our lineup like he’s done for the last year or so.”

But where Horsfield found success, the rest of the team is struggling to keep up.

Florida started its season on Friday at the Carpet Capital Collegiate in Dalton, Georgia, finishing the day tied for seventh at 4 under par.

“Obviously (Horsfield had) had an awesome round, but the other guys have got to pick it up,” Deacon said.

Sophomores Jorge Garcia and Gordon Neale hovered around even-par all day, failing to make a dent in their scoring. Garcia finished at 1 under par, snagging four birdies and three bogeys.

Neale, on the other hand, scored the only eagle for the Gators on the 12th hole, but failed to build on that, remaining even-par with three bogies and one birdie.

Senior Ryan Orr and junior Alejandro Tosti struggled all day.

Tosti hit a triple bogey on the second hole, followed by back-to-back bogeys on the sixth and seventh holes. He birdie three times in the next six holes, but a double bogey on the 14th hole ruined the momentum he started to gain, leaving his score at 4 over par.

Orr couldn’t get going either, hitting three bogeys, a double bogey and a birdie to cap his day at 4 over par.

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“Jorge and Gordon had a solid day, but we just can’t afford to count a 76 and we’ve got to have the guys be better than that,” Deacon said. “I think we got a little bit of the rust off today and their focus will be better tomorrow, but can’t be counting a 76 on a day like today, it was perfect out here.”

The Carpet Capital Invitational continues on Saturday with Tosti teeing off at 8 a.m. Horsfield is looking to maintain the lead in hopes of winning his fourth tournament of his college career.

Contact Jake Dreilinger at jdreilinger@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @DreilingerJake.

Sam Horsfield watches his ball roll toward the cup during Day 1 of the SunTrust Gator Invitational on Feb. 20, 2016, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.

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