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Tuesday, November 30, 2021
<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-d84110cf-1f3a-eea3-bb1c-3cb1de0591c9"><span>Alejandro Tosti hits a shot during the day one of the SunTrust Gator Invitational on Feb. 18, 2017, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.</span></span></p>

Alejandro Tosti hits a shot during the day one of the SunTrust Gator Invitational on Feb. 18, 2017, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.

Going into the final round of the NCAA Regional, Florida's men's golf team was in prime position to advance to the national championship. But after Wednesday’s performance, the Gators will head back to Gainesville empty-handed, as their season ended with a combined 24-over in the final round, putting their total score at 27-over in the tournament.

“It’s the most disappointing day we’ve all ever had on a golf course,” coach JC Deacon said in a release. “Not in a million rounds did I ever think this could ever happen to this team.”

Florida finished the day as the highest scoring team (312). New Mexico was the next highest scoring team on the day (310), but were still able to advance to the national championship with a fourth-place finish.

Coming into the tournament, Florida was ranked No. 1 in the West Lafayette region. With Wednesday’s showing and an eighth-place finish, the Gators showed there is still work to do if they want to become national championship contenders.

None of the five Gators in this week’s lineup were able to grab a top-20 finish. Andy Zhang, the lone freshman in the lineup, was the closest to the top 20, finishing in a tie for 21st. His final round score of 2-over (74) was the lowest on the scorecard for the Gators.

Three of Florida’s golfers shot in the 80s in their final round, including an 86 from sophomore Gordon Neale, the highest score of any golfer in the final round.

Going into the back nine, Florida was 8-over on the day and held sole possession of fifth place. A finish in this position would have clinched a spot in the national championship and given the Gators their 52nd appearance in the competition.

However, the Gators stumbled as play began to wind down. The fifth-ranked team in the nation combined for a five double bogeys, three triple bogeys and a quadruple bogey. The quadruple bogey came on the par-3 17th from sophomore Sam Horsfield, who will be going pro after playing his final round as a Gator on Wednesday. Ryan Orr will also be leaving the team as a graduating senior.

The Gators will have a few months off from tournament play until they begin again in the fall. Returning players include Alejandro Tosti, Gordon Neale and Andy Zhang.

Contact Justin Ahlum at jahlum@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @justinn_case1.

Alejandro Tosti hits a shot during the day one of the SunTrust Gator Invitational on Feb. 18, 2017, at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.

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