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 Golfstat.com.
Contact Michael Hull at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Michael_Hull33