The Gators men’s golf team took on seven of the top-25 collegiate teams in the nation in the Calusa Cup.
The tournament at Calusa Pines Golf Club in Naples, Florida, began Sunday and ended Tuesday.
The Gators had a number of strong finishes in their regular season finale with redshirt junior Fred Biondi finishing first overall. As a team, Florida shot even-par, good enough to fall in second place behind Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets ran away with the tournament, besting Florida by eight strokes. The next contender, finishing in third, was Wake Forest at 4-over-par.
Over the three days, Head Coach J.C Deacon said the Gators saw their best round of the semester in round one and their worst round of the semester in round two.
“Bouncing back in round three and posting the low round of the day was absolutely huge for us,” Deacon said. “I'm really proud of that. It tells me everything I need to know about our guys."
Biondi shot a 5-under-par 211, allowing him to claim his second individual victory of the season. The São Paulo, Brazil, native won the Vystar Gators Invitational earlier this February with a career and tournament best performance. The last Gator to have two wins in a single season was junior Ricky Castillo in 2020.
“[Biondi] is so hungry to learn every day and that mastery mindset is paying off for him,” Deacon said. “He won without his best stuff this week and that is incredibly impressive against that field.”
Castillo was Florida’s other top-10 finisher with a 1-under-par 215 finish. He finished seventh overall. Throughout the spring season, Castillo has finished in the top-25 or better in every tournament where he competed.
Additionally for the Gators, junior John DuBois tied for 19th with a six-over-par 222 and junior Yuxin Lin tied for 25th with an 8-over-par 224.
The final Florida representative at the Calusa Cup was Tyler Wilkes. The Tampa, Florida, product shot a 3-over-par 219 and finished the tournament tied for 13th. His lowest round came on day three where he shot 1-under-par.
Wilkes shot an impressive eagle immediately followed by a birdie on the back nine of his final round. He was only two strokes away from his career best finish of 10th, which he achieved earlier in the season at the Sea Best Invitational.
Florida will now spend time doing work in Gainesville as it prepares for postseason play and the SEC Championship.The conference tournament in St. Simons Island, Georgia, will begin April 20.
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