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Saturday, March 02, 2024

Florida men’s golf finishes the season the way it started

The Gators secure the winning title at Augusta Haskins Award Invitational

<p>Florida senior John DuBois lines up a putt at the Vystar Credit Union Gators Invitational Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023<br/><br/><br/></p>

Florida senior John DuBois lines up a putt at the Vystar Credit Union Gators Invitational Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023

The Gators took first at the Augusta Haskins Award Invitational despite obstacles Saturday.  

The No. 12-ranked Florida men’s golf team traveled to Augusta, Georgia, to compete in the tournament. The Gators took a five-shot lead into Sunday and finished in first by 12 shots to score 39-under-par.

UF’s tournament score was the second lowest by par in program history, only beaten by their score of 37-under-par at the 2006 National Collegiate Athletic Association Regional. Even so, they were three away from the all-time mark of 42-under-par set in the 2018 NCAA Regional.

The win also is the fifth medalist honor for the Gators this season, marking the most since the 2010-2011 season when there were six.

Since 1965, Florida has won 164 team tournament titles and 100 medalist honors.

Saturday, round one was delayed due to the weather. The delay pushed round two into the evening, which resulted in its resumption Sunday morning. 

Florida was 21-under-par before the second round came to a halt, with three Gators in the top 10. 

Seniors Fred Biondi and Ricky Castillo tied for the solo second at seven-under-par. Biondi was the individual leader after a tournament-low of six-under-par in round one. Castillo went eagle-birdie in round two to push the Gators into the lead.  

Senior Yuxin Lin managed three straight birdies to start round two. Lin was in sixth at six-under-par headed into Sunday.

Senior John DuBois recorded his fourth under-par-round with a score of one-under-par 72. He was tied for 22nd followed by his teammate, redshirt freshman Matthew Kress in a tie for 45th.

The remainder of round two was set to resume Sunday morning, followed by round three.

Biondi secured his fourth collegiate victory and second of the year with a score of 15-under-par. The victory earned him an exemption into the Professional Golfer’s Association Tour’s 2023 Open Championship. 

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He is the second Gator this season to do so. The senior is tied for second-all-time by par in program history with 2004 UF graduate Camillo Villegas. The golfer also now owns the fourth and tenth-lowest scores by par in Florida history. 

Florida had five golfers shoot under-par at the end of round two. 

Castillo and Lin had a stroke to separate them in the final round. Castillo took fifth, and Lin took sixth. This marked Castillo’s third consecutive season of over 100 birdies. 

All five Gators placed in the top-25 and finished under par for the weekend.  

Florida’s win also marked the 19th under head coach J.C. Deacon. He is now third all-time in program history in victories.  

The Gators will compete in the Southeastern Conference Championship April 19 in St. Simons Island, Georgia. 

Contact Madilyn Destefano at Follow her on Twitter @DestefanoMadi.

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