NCAA Golf News

Final Round Comeback Sends Gators Grayhawk Bound

Final Round Comeback Sends Gators Grayhawk Bound

BATH, Mich. –  The Florida men’s golf team erased a seven-shot deficit behind an 8-under final round to finish 4th, advancing to the National Championship at Grayhawk on Wednesday.

The Gators chased a top-5 spot of the championship cut the first two days and entered the final round seven back from host Michigan State. When Florida teed off 25 minutes after the Spartans, the chase was now nine strokes. At the end of 54-holes, Florida finished 4th at -12 and a five-shot cushion. 

A trio of rounds in the 60s from Yuxin Lin (66, -5) Ricky Castillo (69, -2) and John DuBois (69, -2) led UF to the best round among the field today by five shots with a 276 (-8). 

Florida made its climb with early birdies from Castillo and Lin, who both finished T11. The Gators jumped above the cut line and were -5 on the day thru holes 3-6. Lin led the lineup in a 3-under front nine with three birdies in the first hour holes. The advantage increased as UF posted four total birdies on hole four (par-5, 591). 

The drama of the final day and the ‘red line’ that is featured on Golfstat, showing the top-5 teams advancing, took place as Florida made the turn with a one-shot lead in 5th over Kansas State. The Wildcats started the day tied for 6th with the Gators heading to the front after starting on the back. Scores showed the back was challenging in round three at Eagle Eyle Club with all six teams to start there not breaking par and shooting an average of +4.5. Compared to three of the six going under par on the front nine, led by Illinois (-5), Florida (-3) and Liberty (-3). 

Immediately at the turn, K-State started to push back ahead and Florida dropped to 7th, four shots out of contention. 

A string of birdies moved UF back up the leaderboard beginning with a pair from Castillo and Matthew Kress. It was another postseason moment for John DuBois, who made a birdie on 14 to tie it and went bogey-free on the back to card a 69 (-2). A seven-shot improvement from yesterday. He placed T35.  

Kansas State and Florida continued to battle for the advancing spot, both remaining tied throughout the latter part of the final round. 

It was the upperclassmen the led the final push from Castillo and Lin combing for -4 on holes 12-16. Lin’s three consecutive on 14-16 (two par-4s and a par-5) gave the Gators a four-shot lead. Kansas State brought it back to two shots with three late birdies in their final few holes, but the Gators held on closing out -4 in the last eight counting holes…


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