No. 4 Florida has won four-times this year
(Florida Athletics Photo)
STATESBORO, GA (March 19, 2017) -- With a 6-under final round No. 4 Florida surged in front and won the Schenkel Invitational at Forest Heights Country Club.
Eight shots back to start the final round, the Gators were led on Sunday by the play of Ryan Orr and Sam Horsfield both whom turned in under-par rounds as Florida reached 18-under to finish two shots in front of host Georgia Southern.
"I know it's our fourth team victory of the year, but this one is different. We had to come from way back," said Florida head coach J.C. Deacon. "Only the guys in our room will really know it, but we've been going through a lot of adversity and for the guys to come out and play the way they did today, hit the clutch shots when they did today was incredibly rewarding for me to see. I am so happy for them. It was an amazing day, really special."
Orr, who finished tied for 12th, was the low Gator in the final round with a 4-under 68. On Sunday Orr birdied five-times and bogeyed once on his way to a 4-under finish.
Sam Horsfield was the low Gator for the week finishing 9-under in third. Horsfield put together rounds of 68-69-70 throughout the tournament.
Also helping lift Florida to their fourth team title of the season were Andy Zhang (T18; -2), Gordon Neale (T18; -2) and Ryan Celano (T42; +6).
In the medalist race Vanderbilt sophomore Patrick Martin was able to walk away with the first individual title of his career.
“I’m so excited for Patrick and seeing him get his first win,” said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh. “He does things the right way and is sold out to what we try to do. It's great to see him be rewarded for that.
Martin rallied to the title with a big final round that saw him fire a 6-under 66 and post a 12-under tally. Following a first hole par, Martin got things going with a 2nd hole birdie and then three more in a row from Nos. 7-9. On the back nine Martin did bogey once but he was able to offset the dropped shot with birdies on the 11th, 14th and 18th holes.
Behind Martin came R.J. Keur (UAB) at 10-under, the 9-under Horsfield was third, Benjamin Shipp (NC State) was fourth at 8-under while Stephen Franken (NC State), Phillip Knowles (North Florida) and Theo Humphrey (Vanderbilt) shared fifth at 6-under.
In the team standings host Georgia Southern was second following a 16-under weekend, No. 1 Vanderbilt made a valiant charge before settling for third at 15-under, North Carolina State placed fourth at 5-under and in fifth it was Kentucky at 4-under.
-Florida and Vanderbilt Athletics golf contributed to this story
ROUND TWO RECAP
After 36-holes the Schenkel Invitational has a bit of a surprise leader in host Georgia Southern. So far this year Georgia Southern hasn't finished better than fourth but with just one round left at Forest Heights Country Club they are 20-under and leading the way by seven shots.
Setting the pace for Georgia Southern is freshman Brett Barron. As the medalist leader, Barron is 11-under and ahead by two shots. Through 36-holes Barron, whose best finish was a third place showing, has combined rounds of 67-66 and on Saturday he birdied seven-times, eagled once and bogeyed three-times.
Barron, a five-time Junior Club Champion at Atlanta Athletic Club winner, played his best stretch of golf from Nos. 6-9 when he birdied twice and eagled te par-5 9th.
Also helping the Eagles to the team lead are sophomore Steven Fisk (T3; -8) and junior Archer Price (T14; -3).
Playing without Matthias Schwab who was in the Arnold Palmer Invitational field this week, defending champion and top-ranked Vanderbilt is in second place at 13-under, No. 4 Florida and North Carolina State are tied for third at 12-under while Limpscomb sits in fifth with an 8-under tally.
Behind Barron in the team standings is Theo Humphrey (Vanderbilt) at 9-under, Dawson Armstrong (Lipscomb), Fisk and Benjamin Shipp (NC State) are tied for third at 8-under to round out the top-five.
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