Florida’s men’s golf team was tied for fourth place in the Florida Gators Invitational after two rounds on Saturday, seven strokes behind first-place Vanderbilt.
UF was in a similar situation in 2018’s rendition of its own tournament.
It trailed the Commodores by one stroke entering the final round but couldn’t pull ahead in the last 18 holes, eventually finishing as runner-ups.
The result was no different this year as the UF men’s golf team finished second behind No. 3 Vanderbilt in the 42nd annual Florida Gators Invitational on Sunday.
Florida had a chance to avoid the same outcome, improving to 9 under par after the first nine holes of the final round. That put the team in first place, three strokes ahead of the Commodores.
It was all downhill for the Gators after that.
Ten bogies on the back nine prevented them from extending their lead, ending the tournament at even-par.
After the hosts finished playing the final round, they were tied with Vanderbilt.
The Commodores, however, still had three holes left to prevent a playoff.
A birdie and three pars on the final hole gave them a one-stroke advantage over Florida to take first place for the second year in a row at Mark Bostick Golf Course.
“It was really, really close today,” coach J.C. Deacon said in a release after the tournament. “But we’re just not quite there yet.”
Sophomore John Axelsen, who shot 3 under par, was Florida’s best golfer over the weekend. His performance was tied for fourth place, making him the only Gator to finish in the top 10.
Senior Gordon Neale tied for eighth place at the 2018 tournament, but he did not perform as well this time around. He came in last place among the five UF golfers that participated in the team event at 7 over.
After finishing the first day of the event at 3 strokes over par, freshman Eugene Hong shot a 3 under in the final round to finish even.
“I think his best is coming soon,” Deacon said following the event, “and we’re lucky to have him on our team.”
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Senior Gordon Neale finished in last place (7 over par) among the five UF golfers that participated in the team event at the Gators Invitational.