The Florida men’s golf team scorched Baton Rouge, Louisiana Saturday, shooting a blistering 7-under-par to rise to first place after two rounds of the LSU Invitational.
The Gators left Friday’s poor performance in the past. Sophomore Yuxin Lin led Florida Saturday, shooting a blazing 6-under-par 66. He carded a clean round, knocking down six birdies and zero bogeys. Lin rose from 37th after round one to a tie for 2nd at the end of Saturday, and he is one stroke behind Ole Miss’ Jackson Suber for the lead.
Ricky Castillo also improved his performance in round two, shooting a 4-under-par 68. The sophomore carded six birdies and only two bogeys after a performance Friday that included four double bogeys and just three birdies. Castillo shot up the board, rising from a tie for 57th to a tie for seventh. He’s now 1-over-par. Redshirt sophomore Fred Biondi is also tied for seventh after shooting even par in round one and 1-over-par Saturday.
Freshman Tyler Wilkes shot 3-over-par and is in a tie for 34th. Wilkes’ day consisted of three birdies, three bogeys and a triple bogey. Finally, freshman Joe Pagdin shot a 2-over-par 74 Saturday.
Florida holds a three-shot lead over Illinois. Sunday’s round will come down to a one-on-one match between the Gators and the Fighting Illini, as the third place team is 11-over-par.
Statistically, the Gators were much better Saturday than Friday, and their scores reflected it. Florida has the fourth best average on par-3s, par-4s and par-5s through two days of play. The team leads the field in pars with 113 and is third in birdies with 32. Individually, Lin is averaging 3.80 strokes per par-4, pacing the field. He has the third-most birdies and the fourth-most pars. Castillo leads the field in birdies with 10.
Florida’s finish was an outlier compared to the rest of the field. No other team finished under par Saturday, and only shot even par. The Gators’ collective 281 is eight strokes better than any other team’s best score either round.
The Gators are trying to win their third straight tournament of the spring. Florida will look to finish off their comeback Sunday at 11:10 a.m.
Contact Michael Hull at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Michael_Hull33
Michael Hull is a third-year journalism major with a specialization in sports & media. He has a minor in business and leadership and is a struggling Jacksonville Jaguars fan.