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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Gators return to action at Calusa Cup

The Florida men’s golf team finished up regular season play this weekend in Naples, Florida

<p>Freshman Joe Pagdin walks through practice at Mark Bostick Golf Course. Pagdin is currently tied for 13th entering the final round of competition at the Vanderbilt Legends Collegiate.</p>

Freshman Joe Pagdin walks through practice at Mark Bostick Golf Course. Pagdin is currently tied for 13th entering the final round of competition at the Vanderbilt Legends Collegiate.

After more than a month away from competition, the Florida men’s golf team returns to the course for its regular season finale at the Calusa Cup in Naples, Florida.

The Gators last competed at the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in late February after COVID-19 protocols caused them to withdraw from the Tiger Invitational in March. Now, they look ahead to a strong field at Calusa Pines Golf Club.

Nine teams will trek to Naples. Five of those teams rank within the top 15, including No. 1 Florida State, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 7 Wake Forest, No. 8 Texas and No. 15 Florida.

Familiar faces set the lineup for Florida this weekend. Sophomore Ricky Castillo serves as the Gators’ top golfer. The California native finished within the top 25 in every tournament this spring and will look to continue that consistency.

Sophomore Yuxin Lin occupies the second spot in the Florida lineup. The Beijing native took no time to find his form as a Gator. Lin finished within the top 20 in all three spring tournaments thus far, which included a tie for sixth at the Gators Invitational.

Freshman Joe Pagdin files in as the Gators’ No. 3 golfer this weekend. Pagdin had an inconsistent spring season thus far. He finished in the top 20 at the Gators Invitational and the top 10 at the Timuquana Collegiate but had an uncharacteristic few days in Baton Rouge and finished in a tie for 80th. Pagdin will look to perform like he did in previous tournaments.

Redshirt sophomore Fred Biondi serves as Florida’s No. 4 golfer. Biondi appeared in two lineups so far this spring and finished within the top 50 in both events. 

Finally, freshman Tyler Wilkes rounds out UF’s lineup. Wilkes has two top-20 finishes this spring and hasn’t finished outside the top 40.

The University of Iowa hosts the Calusa Cup, which takes place at Calusa Pines Golf Club. Calusa Pines stretches 7,203 yards and boasts a par-72 scorecard. Founded in 2001, the course features flowing fairways and intense landforms and, according to its website, was listed on Golf Digest’s "Top Ten Best New Private Clubs." in the US.

This will be the first time the Calusa Cup is played. The inaugural tournament, which was scheduled for April 2020, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three-day, 54-hole tournament starts Sunday. Golfers are expected to begin at 12:30 p.m. Live updates are available at Golfstat.com.

Contact Michael Hull at mhull@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @Michael_Hull33

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