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UF Men’s Golf: Gators Claim Fourth at Southern Highlands

Courtesy of UF Athletic Association

The Florida men’s golf team finished fourth at the Southern Highlands Collegiate behind top-10 individual performances from John Axelsen and Ricky Castillo.

Ricky Castillo and John Axelsen both finished inside the top 10 individually as the Florida men’s golf team took fourth among a loaded field at the Southern Highlands Collegiate on Tuesday.

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The Gators shot 1-under 287 in the final round of the event, improving their overall score to 6-over 870. USC claimed the team title by two strokes at 3 under, while Texas boasted the individual champion in Parker Coody who won in a sudden-death playoff hole.

John Axelsen led the Gators through the final round, recording two birdies and one eagle to turn in a 69. The junior’s 3-under performance put him at 2 under for the event and in a tie for ninth as an individual – his fifth top-10 finish of the season.

Ricky Castillo turned in an even-par 72 in the last round to stay steady at 5-under overall and tie for sixth as an individual. This is the third time this spring that Castillo has placed within the top 10 individually. The freshman has also finished inside the top 25 in all seven of his collegiate tournament appearances.

Blake Dyer started the day hot, firing off a blemish-free 1 under on the front nine. However, a few bogeys on the back nine put him at 1 over for the day. The senior ended the event at a collective 5 over and tied for 30th individually.

After some early-day struggles, Chris Nido caught fire at the end of the round. The junior recorded three birdies through his final four holes, locking in a 73 to complete the Gators’ counting scores and push his total to 9-over 225.

Notable

  *   Florida finished fourth in a 15-team field that included 12 teams ranked inside the top 30
     *   The Gators finished ahead of No. 1 Pepperdine, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Georgia Tech, No. 7 Duke, No. 10 SMU, No. 16 Georgia, No. 22 UCLA and No. 28 New Mexico

Head Coach JC Deacon’s Take
On the team’s performance in Las Vegas…
“Really pleased with our showing at the Southern Highlands Collegiate. It’s the strongest regular season field we face all year, and we hung right in there. It’s a huge step for our team. We beat some big-time programs this week and proved to ourselves that we can play with anyone.”

On the team’s strong finish…
“We are absolutely getting tougher and showing signs of being a championship team. The finish we had through the last six holes was so strong and what I’m most proud of … Now we’ve got to take this result, build on it, and see how good we can be.”

Up Next
The Gators travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., for the Tar Heel Collegiate. The two-day tournament is hosted by University of North Carolina and runs from Saturday, March 21 to Sunday, March 22.