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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
<p>Freshman Tyler Wilkes practices at Mark Bostick Golf Course.</p>

Freshman Tyler Wilkes practices at Mark Bostick Golf Course.

The Gators hold a four-shot advantage entering round two of competition of the Calusa Cup.

Florida jumped out to an early lead Sunday and didn’t let up. It shot a collective 2-under-par in the first round and leads second place Florida State by four strokes.

Joe Pagdin paced the Gators and the field in the opening round of competition. He shot 5-under-par on the day and scored a perfect card. The freshman knocked down five birdies and zero bogeys.

Sophomore Ricky Castillo finished day one in a tie for sixth. The California native had an inconsistent day. He shot two birdies and a double bogey on the first three holes. 

He added two more bogeys on the back-9, and it looked as if Castillo was going to head into the clubhouse at 2-over-par. However, he knocked in an eagle on the par-5 18th, one of just two in the field, which brought his total to even par.

Redshirt sophomore Fred Biondi sits squarely in the top-15 and shot a 1-over-par 73 while freshman Tyler Wilkes ties for 17th at 2-over-par. Sophomore Yuxin Lin rounds out the Gators lineup in a tie for 31st at 4-over-par.

Junior Giovanni Manzoni competes as an individual in Naples. The Italian native shot a 2-over-par 74 and ties for 17th.

Florida dominated on the course and on the stats sheet. As a team, the Gators averaged the best score on both par-3s (3.10) and par-4s (4.08). They also averaged the third-best score on par-5s (4.80). The Gators sank 62 pars Sunday, the most in the field.

Individually, Castillo and Pagdin averaged the best score on par-3s (2.75). Pagdin controlled the field on par-4s and par-5s, too. He shot an average of 3.90 on par-4s and 4.25 on par-5s, tying for first in both categories. His five birdies were the third most of the opening round of the tournament.

The Gators will tee it up at 1:50 p.m. tomorrow. Lin will lead the group, followed by Wilkes, Biondi, Castillo and Pagdin. Live updates are available at

Contact Michael Hull at and follow him on Twitter @Michael_Hull33

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Michael Hull

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. 

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