The Gators men’s golf team officially announced its roster for 2020.
At first glance, the roster is stacked top to bottom with underclassmen: Nine of the 13 players on the roster are freshmen or sophomores, and there’s just one senior on this year’s squad. Here is a summary of each player that will represent the Gators this year on the links.
Ryan Hart, Freshman, Naples, Florida
Hart is one of four commits from the class of 2020 that will be in Gainesville this fall. He has played on the amateur circuit for a few years now, winning the 2017 Western New York Section PGA Tour Junior Player of the Year and the 2019 College Prep Series at UF. He attended Gulf Coast High School, where he was a member of Class 3A Florida State champions as a sophomore.
Jonah Leach, Freshman, Windermere, Florida
Leach is another addition to this strong incoming class. He was runner-up at the 2019 Florida Junior Amateur Championships and has had many high finishes in other junior tournaments. He finished second at the 2018 American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Junior at Saddlebrook and fourth in the 2018 Jim Bell Memorial Junior.
Joe Pagdin, Freshman, Sheffield, England
Pagdin has been on the collegiate and professional radar since middle school, winning the Future Masters in 2015 and 2016. He has represented the England Boys Championship Team for the past three years and is currently ranked 28th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Pagdin is the youngest player ever to commit to UF, committing at just 13 years old.
Tyler Wilkes, Freshman, Tampa, Florida
Rounding out the group of impressive freshmen, Wilkes was named the 2018 FSGA (Florida State Golf Association) Junior Player of the Year. He was named a Rolex Junior All-American in 2019 and represented the United States that same year in the Toyota Junior World Cup. He has won some big tournaments, including the AJGA Junior at Saddlebrook and the Florida Amateur Championship in 2019 and the Orlando International Junior Amateur in 2018.
Ricky Castillo, Sophomore, Yorba Linda, California
Castillo had a freshmen year for the ages last season, winning the 2020 SEC Freshman of the Year, the 2020 NCAA Division I Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman Award and found his way onto the All-SEC and All-America First Team as well. He won two tournaments individually during the shortened season, the Sea Best Invitational and the Gators Invitational, where he shot a career-low 63.The Gators will be looking for Castillo to continue performing at such a high level this fall.
Quentin Debove, Sophomore, Paris, France
Debove appeared in the Gators’ lineup three times last season, with his best finish being tied for 10th at the Gators Invitational. He shot in the 60s twice last year, and before coming to UF, Debove was in the top 200 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
John DuBois, Sophomore, Windermere, Florida
Like Debove, Dubois played in the Gators’ lineup three times last season, averaging a 74.1 across 18 rounds. Before starting at Florida, he won a state championship with The First Academy and was a three-time Florida Junior Tour Champion.
Christophe Stutts, Sophomore, Maitland, Florida
Stutts enrolled at UF early last spring semester. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his freshman year was limited: He only appeared as an individual in the Gators invitational. However, his track record before Florida shows Stutts as a potential second-year breakout candidate. He was a first alternate in the 2019 US Amateur Qualifier and tied for second at the 2019 St. Augustine Amateur.
Fred Biondi, Redshirt Sophomore, São Paulo, Brazil
Biondi has appeared in just three events during his time at UF due to his redshirt status. During his amateur days, Biondi was Florida State Junior Champion two years in a row and was the second-ranked Brazilian player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. His presence as a potential staple in the lineup could be a big boost for the Gators.
Giovanni Manzoni, Junior, Cremella, Italy
Manzoni spent his first two collegiate years at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, where he helped the Fighting Knights win the NCAA Division II National Championship. He earned All-America and Freshman All-America honors in 2019 at Lynn before transferring to UF.
Manny Girona, Redshirt Junior, Windermere, Florida
Girona has made the lineup seven times in his two seasons at UF. After sitting out his freshman year to redshirt, Girona had the fourth best stroke average on the team during the 2018-2019 season, averaging a 73.05. He will provide a much-needed veteran presence for the team and set a good example for the younger players to follow, as he was named to the SEC Community Service Team in both 2019 and 2020.
Robby Eisch, Senior, Tampa, Florida
Eisch has played in three tournaments as an individual over the last two years. During his sophomore season, he recorded 13 birdies in the two tournaments he played in. Before UF, Eisch was the captain of the Plant High School men’s golf team that won the 2016 FHSAA Class 3A State Championship.
Carlos Bustos, Graduate Student, Santiago, Chile
Bustos spent his undergraduate years at Lynn University, where he helped the Fighting Knights win the Division II National Championship in both 2018 and 2019. He also holds the university record for the lowest 54-hole total, shooting 15-under par at the Fort Lauderdale Invitational. Bustos is a huge addition to an already stacked Gators squad.
Contact Michael Hull at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @Michael_Hull33.