UF Men’s Golf: Florida Victorious in Playoff, Clinches Title at Timuquana Collegiate

Courtesy of University Athletic Association


The Florida men’s golf team claimed the title in spring debut after beating Liberty in two-hole playoff

The Florida men’s golf team claimed victory on Tuesday after outlasting Liberty in a two-hole playoff competition at the Timuquana Collegiate.

After a front nine of fluctuating scores, the Gators hit the back nine at even par, looking to advance up the leaderboard. Florida delivered, too, posting 13 birdies on the back to shoot 4 below par on the day.

At the conclusion of 54 holes, both Florida and Liberty sat atop the leaderboard at 21 under par apiece and headed for a playoff, where the Gators clinched on the second hole.

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Ricky Castillo was the top performer of the tournament for the Gators, posting back-to-back under-par scores in the first two rounds and tying for eighth place behind a 6 under par total score of 210. This marks the fourth time in his collegiate career that Castillo has recorded a top-10 finish.

Manny Girona notched a fantastic final round, posting a clean front nine to go along with two birdies on the day. Girona recorded a career-low 4 under par total score of 212 and finished in a tie for 15th.

Yuxin Lin and Joe Pagdin both recorded the best final round performances, carding 2 under par scores and combining for five birdies on the back nine.

Pagdin’s heroics didn’t stop with his scorecard, as the freshman stepped up in a big way for Florida when his birdie on the second playoff hole helped to clinch the tournament win for the Gators.

Tyler Wilkes rounded out the Florida lineup, carding a 2-over 218 for the tournament to finish tied for 37th.

Individually, John DuBois finished the tournament 11 over and tied for 69th.

Graduate Carlos Bustos highlighted the Florida individual performers, carding a 2 over par total score of 218 to tie for 37th and joining the leaderboard alongside Wilkes.


  *   Making his first appearance in the Gators lineup since the 2020 Gators Invitational, Manny Girona posted a career-low 4 under par score. Girona’s top-15 finish matches his career-best finish, which came at the 2019 Sea Best Invitational.
  *   Sophomore Ricky Castillo recorded the fourth top-ten finish of his collegiate career.
  *   In his four collegiate tournaments, freshman Joe Pagdin has recorded three top-20 finishes.
  *   In his debut with Florida, Yuxin Lin finished in a tie for 19th. In six collegiate tournaments, the sophomore has finished within the top 20 in all but one event.
  *   Four Gators finished within the top 20 individually.
  *   Today’s win marks the first time since the 2017-18 season that Florida has won a tournament outside of the Gators Invitational.

Head Coach JC Deacon’s Take
On the win…
“I’m happy for our guys! Winning like that in a playoff was so much fun. Our goal today was to play hard for each other, and we certainly did that. We have a lot to work on, but starting the spring with a W is fantastic.”

On returning to competition…
“It feels great to be back competing. That was a very long off-season. Can’t thank the University of Jacksonville, University of North Florida, and Timuquana Country Club enough for hosting.”

Up Next
Florida will return to Gainesville for the Gators Invitational presented by VyStar, the lone home event of the season. This three-day tournament is scheduled to begin on Friday, Feb. 14, and continue through the weekend.