The Gators men’s golf team is tied for ninth place after shooting even par in the first round of the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate at Old Overton Club.
Freshman Joe Pagdin led the way for the Gators, shooting a 2-under-par 68 in the opening round. He carded three birdies on the day and is sitting in a tie for 12th individually.
Junior Giovanni Manzoni followed close behind Pagdin, shooting a one-under-par 69. Manzoni had the highlight of the day for Florida, knocking in an eagle on the sixth hole. He is in a tie for 18th.
The rest of the team besides Manzoni and Pagdin struggled. Redshirt sophomore Fred Biondi shot an even-par 70, cracking the top 30 in a tie for 29th. No. 1 golfer Ricky Castillo shot 3-over-par and is tied for 57th after the first round of action, as is freshman Tyler Wilkes.
“Pagdin and Manzoni played fairly solid today,” head coach J.C. Deacon said in a release. “Other than that, we were average at best. Having seen the course twice now, we will have a better opportunity to make some birdies and close this gap on the leaderboard.”
Perhaps one reason for Florida’s early struggles is the course. Old Overton takes some getting used to, Deacon said, and this is the first time any of these Gators have played it. They had a practice round in the morning, then played their rounds in the afternoon. Despite the practice session, it is nearly impossible to get the feel of a course after just one round.
The Gators aim to bounce back, but they have a lot of ground to make up after a mediocre day one. They are currently 15 strokes behind the leading Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia was carried by junior Trent Phillips, who shot an eight-under-par 62 and is currently pacing the field.
UF tees off Monday at 11:25 a.m. Live scoring updates will be provided on Golfstat.com.
Contact Michael Hull at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Michael_Hull33.
Freshman Joe Pagdin practices at Mark Bostick Golf Course. Pagdin currently sits as the highest individual Gator at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate at Old Overton Club.
Michael Hull is a fourth-year journalism sports & media major and a sports writer at The Alligator. He hosts the weekly sports podcast and has worked on staff for five semesters. In the past, Hull has served as the sports editor, the men's and women's golf beat writer, the volleyball beat writer and the football beat writer.