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Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Gators weren’t satisfied. They came into the final day of the Trinity Forest Invitational trailing five other squads. But Florida’s performance Tuesday perhaps gave the team something to build off of as it climbed up the leaderboard to finish fourth.

UF’s surge up the standings on Tuesday was led by sophomore John Axelsen (-10) with senior Gordon Neale (-6) and freshman Aden Ye (-2) not too far behind. All five golfers officially competing for UF finished in the top 35.

Florida’s final round was the team’s best of the tournament and the second-best of any team on Day 3, only behind Baylor’s 270. The Gators finished a stroke behind third-place College of Charleston and 10 strokes behind first-place Baylor.

Axelsen was threatening the top of the individual leaderboard from the beginning of the tournament, leading the field after the first day with a 64. He cooled off over the next two days, carding a 70 and a 69, respectively, but his efforts were still enough to place him in a tie for third place individually.

The Gators were in eighth place after Day 1 despite Axelsen’s stellar round. They needed more contributions from the rest of the lineup if they were to move up the leaderboard, a problem that also plagued them at the Carpet Capital Collegiate, which Axelsen missed due to international duty.

The last two days of competition, however, were a remedy for that flaw.  

Neale was a combined 6-under over the last two rounds to move up 22 places and finished in a tie for 10th place. Ye’s last two rounds saw him improve from tied for 49th to a tie for 19th. The same goes for sophomore Chris Nido (+2) and freshman Eugene Hong (+2), who moved up 26 and 33 places, respectively, and both tied for 35th.

Sophomore Manny Girona (-2) also finished the tournament in a tie for 19th place, though he was competing as an individual.

The Trinity Forest Invitational was the second of four fall tournaments for the men’s golf team as it inches closer to the spring season. The Nike Collegiate Invitational, running from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, and the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational, which starts on Oct. 21st and ends on Oct. 23rd, round out the men’s golf team’s fall tournament slate.

Follow Brendan Farrell on Twitter @Bfarrell727 or contact him at bfarrell@alligator.org. 

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