Gator Men’s Golf Preview: Valspar Collegiate

The No. 2 Gator’s Men’s Golf team looks to continue their dominate play next week at the Valspar Collegiate.  The team will travel to Palm City, FL to compete against a stacked field at the prestigious Floridian Country Club .

Freshman Sam Horsfield reads his putt during the first round of the 2016 SunTrust Gator Invitational at the Mark Bostick Golf Course on Feb. 22, 2016. Photo taken by Amanda Ploener, WRUF
Freshman Sam Horsfield reads his putt during the first round of the 2016 SunTrust Gator Invitational at the Mark Bostick Golf Course on Feb. 22, 2016. Photo taken by Amanda Ploener, WRUF

The individual tournament champion will earn a spot in the PGA TOUR’s 2017 Valspar Championship.  The event is held each year in Palm Harbor, FL at the Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead Course) in March during the TOUR’s Florida Swing.

Last year’s Valspar Collegiate winner, Georgia Bulldog Lee McCoy, finished the 2016 Valspar Championship on 4-under last weekend.  The senior’s 4th place finish was the story line of the tournament.

Next week, the Gators will join a strong field which includes: Florida State (6), Arkansas, LSU (21), Lamar, Houston, Oklahoma State (12), Tennessee, Illinois (1), SMU, UCLA, South Florida (16), Georgia Tech, Kent State, and Texas A&M.

The team will play 36-holes on Monday and will conclude the tournament with 18-holes on Tuesday.

Coverage: You can find live scoring throughout the tournament from Golf Stat .  You can also follow @GatorsGolf on Twitter for more updates.

Recap

The team is coming off another stellar performance last week at the Southern Highlands Collegiate in Las Vegas, NV.

The Orange and Blue finished 2nd last week in what head coach JC Deacon calls “the best field [the Gators have] played all season”.

“When it came down to business, the guys did a great job and finished 2nd in probably the best field they have played all season”, Deacon said on Monday.

Freshman Sam Horsfield studies green during first round of SunTrust Gator Invitational, Feb. 22, 2016. Photo taken by Amanda Ploener, WRUF
Freshman Sam Horsfield studies green during first round of SunTrust Gator Invitational, Feb. 22, 2016. Photo taken by Amanda Ploener, WRUF

Freshman Sam Horsfield once again dominated a field consisting of the some of the best players in the world and college golf.  Horsfield finished the week on 7-under to win by 4.

Not surprisingly, Deacon praised Horsfield on and off the course during his Monday press conference.

Horsfield, the No. 10 ranked amateur in the world and no. 5 in college golf, is in the running to win the 2016 Ben Hogan Award.  This prestigious award is given to the top male college golfer at the end of the season.

The team’s 2nd place finish was not without controversy.  Sophomore Alejandro Tosti once again signed an incorrect scorecard, leading to an individual DQ.  This was the second tournament in a row that Tosti signed an incorrect scorecard.  The last time was after the final round the SunTrust Gator Invitational in February.

Tosti, the 16th ranked player in college golf, will not play this week.

The Argentine was ineligible to compete for the individual title after the round 1 mishap, but was still able to contribute to the team effort in the final two rounds.  He played the final two rounds in 1-under to help the team finish 2nd.

A disappointed Deacon talked about the impact of Tosti’s DQ on Monday.

The Gators look to move on from Tosti’s follies and continue their strong play through April and May.  The following months are crucial for the Gators which include the SEC Championships, Regionals, and the NCAA Championship.

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