Quentin Debove wasn’t in the lineup for the first two rounds of the NCAA Regional Championships in Spring 2022.
Head coach JC Deacon gave Debove the start in the final round of regionals as a sub for Tyler Wilkes, who hadn’t been playing up to par. Debove took advantage of the opportunity, playing well enough to earn a starting role for the NCAA Championship.
"Quentin is an absolute beast, mentally and physically,” Deacon said. “He has been through it all here at the University of Florida.”
Debove’s role on the team was to fill in when needed and support his teammates. However, his play from the No. 5 position in the regionals gave him the opportunity to start in fall 2022.
Teams only get one sub in the postseason. Deacon gave the opportunity to Debove.
"I struggled so much my freshman and sophomore years, and then the fall of my junior year,” Debove said. ”But I’m still trying to reach my potential.”
His goal is to hopefully play in the Professional Golfers Association of America Tour and ultimately win an Amateur, he said. The experience over the past two years is what motivates him to get up in the morning and work the right way so he doesn’t fall out of the lineup again.
Debove improved greatly during the fall season, when he had his best finisher of T5 and his career-low round of 65, both in the Fighting Irish Classic tournament.
He wasn’t in the lineup and was unsure if he would travel with the team all spring long, he said.
Debove improved his stroke game over the summer. He was able to hit faster, farther and straighter by the start of the fall season, he said.
He had his best finish, T5, at the fall season opener, The Fighting Irish Classic. This was the Gators’ first win of the season. Debove finished the tournament strong, earning a qualifying score.
"UF usually struggles in the fall, but this year we have won some tournaments and placed second for some,” Debove said. “It is better than what we have done, especially the past three years."
The Gators have multiple soon-to-be professional players, which allows many of the golfers on the team to practice against high-level competition, Debove said.
His goal is to be number one in the lineup, Debove said. Competing against teammates and alumni, he said, is what helps the Gators continue to improve.
Throughout Debove's time at UF, the players and coaches say he’s been highly motivated and has worked hard to reach his highest potential on the course.
Florida men’s golf senior John DuBois said Debove has always given his all to the team. Debove never passes up an opportunity to get better in the classroom, the gym or the golf course, DuBois said.
“[Debove] wants the best for himself and the team,” DuBois said. “Quentin is the player every teammate wishes to have. Super competitive, a hard worker and never gives up.”
Debove has worked hard on his strength, developed his game on the course and has done well academically, Deacon said.
Debove came to UF to play right away. However, he struggled to crack the lineup until the national championship.
“I always learn the most about our players through adversity,” Deacon said. “Quentin experienced more adversity and struggle than you could imagine.”
Debove's one of the best drivers in the NCAA, Deacon said, and his iron game is nearly as strong. Debove has had an enormous impact on Florida golf, he said.
Debove's working on getting his short game to an elite level, he said. When that happens, Deacon said, he’ll be on an All-American team.
“His response has been a coach's dream,” Deacon said.
Alyssa Britton-Harr is a second-year journalism major and a sports reporter for The Alligator. In her free time, she enjoys cheering on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and spending time with her friends.