Coming off its first win of the season since Sept. 26, the No. 8 Florida men’s golf team was looking to carry its momentum into the first day of the Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, Georgia, on Friday.
Instead, Florida suffered through a brutal 18 holes, ending the day in 11th place out of 14 teams, four strokes over par and an almost unbelievable 18 strokes behind first-place Vanderbilt.
Florida coach J.C. Deacon was optimistic, however, that the Gators could bounce back from the rough start in the event’s final two days.
"Obviously a tough day for us from start to finish, but I was happy with the attitude and effort,” Deacon said in a release. “I'm expecting to see a very motivated and focused team tomorrow. It's probably going be our best round of the year.”
The lone bright spot on the day for the Gators was the performance of freshman Won Jun Lee. Lee, making his first appearance in the starting lineup since October, set the pace on the day for Florida by shooting 1 under. Lee is tied for 16th in the event and is the only Gator at or below par.
Junior Gordon Neale — who was in the No. 1 spot of the Gators lineup for the fourth event in a row — struggled. He shot 4 over, Florida’s worst score of the afternoon.
Freshman John Axelsen and sophomore Andy Zhang are both in a tie for 35th after shooting 1 over. Freshman Chris Nido shot 3 over, putting him in a tie for 58th.
The Gators will look to rebound tomorrow morning, with tee time set for 8:51 a.m.
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Freshman Won Jun Lee was Florida's top performer on Friday in the first round of the Schenkel Invitational, shooting 1 under.