Down 4 through 14 and the lone match left out at Atlanta Athletic Club, Matthew Kress began a comeback that turned into a flashback of the UF and FSU NCAA Championship Semifinals match at Grayhawk in the summer that saw Ricky Castillo rally from 2-down thru 16 and win in 21 holes for a berth in the match play finals.
Kress spakred his efforts after dropping 14 with a bogey by using three consecutive pars with a flurry of good shots and putts to bring it to 1-down headed to 18. After great drives on the final hole by Kress and his opponent Luke Clanton, the pair added to the drama with great approach shots setting up both for birdie putts. Clanton went first, and made his putt to hold off the comeback and win the match for FSU.
Tyler Wilkes was the first UF golfer out of the gates and secured the first point with a 5&3 victory. After being 2 down through 6, he did not drop another hole and won six of the next nine holes. The senior started off the back nine with three consecutive wins on 10-12.
Florida State tied the match 1-1 behind a victory in match two, Tyler Weaver 2&1 over Parker Bell. The two were tied for nine total holes, including holes 8-14 before Weaver took 15 &16 to setup the Noles first win.
The Gators responded right away as Luke Poulter followed for Florida’ second point with a 4&3 win. Poulter controlled his match and only dropped two of the 15 holes played.
Both sides found themselves tied and all eyes on the anchor match after Ian Gilligan dropped his match 3&1 to Gray Albright.
It will be NCAA Championship Finals rematch as the Gators will take on No. 3 Georgia Tech tomorrow in the consolation match starting at 10:50 a.m. with live coverage beginning at 3 p.m. on Golf Channel.
Q. Overall takeaways on how your team fared today?
COACH J.C. DEACON: We hung in there. Really proud of Tyler to get that point in the opening match, and then Luke played fantastic to win I think 4&3, and then we just couldn’t get that last point. I was with Parker Bell all day and I think he was 3 or 4 under par and Tyler Weaver for Florida State just putted so great. We just couldn’t get it over the finish line. Proud of Matt Kress, he really hung in there at the end….