Back-to-Back Champions in the Sea Best Invitational
The Florida Men’s Golf team starts the season off on a positive note. The Gators were named champions at the Sea Best Invitational last Tuesday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Fifteen teams competed in the 54-hole strokeplay event and only the Florida Gators held the No. 1 spot. This was the 9th annual event hosted by Jacksonville University at the TPC Sawgrass Dye’s Valley Course. The Orange and Blue took home first place for the second consecutive time.
Head coach J.C. Deacon is pleased with his players’ overall performance in the tournament. While he is content with getting the win, he is even happier by the way his team achieved this. The Gators had a one shot lead going into the final round, exposing them to pressure-filled circumstances. Despite the tough conditions, the Gators came out on top. Deacon is impressed by the fact that his players responded well to playing under pressure.
Senior Ryan Orr Plays up to Par
It has been a long wait before Ryan Orr was able to capture his first title playing at the college level. As a competitive senior, Orr had never individually won a tournament in his four years as a Gator. Despite shooting over par in the final round, Orr managed to come out on top. This was a tight win as Orr was only one stroke over his teammate Alejandro Tosti. Orr said that his first collegiate victory “really feels good.” In discussing how he can take advantage of this victory to further achieve success, Orr said he must keep in mind that “patience is a virtue.” He plans to keep working as hard as he can and is excited to use his previous victory as positive encouragement in the approaching tournaments. J.C. Deacon is impressed with Orr’s performance and is happy for him that he finally has earned his first college victory.
Tough Competition Ahead
While Orr’s performance was particularly impressive, all five guys positively contributed to Florida’s win. After being named champions in the Sea Best Invitational, the guys are quickly back to work. The team has returned to their 6:00 a.m. workouts in the gym and Deacon feels his players are sufficiently back into the routine. The Gators are putting forth intense effort in preparation to play in their next tournament on Feb. 18 at Mark Bostick Golf Course. Despite having the home turf advantage, the Gators have not won the SunTrust Gator Invitational since 2011. Since Deacon nor the current seniors have ever won this tournament, the team looks forward to giving it their all with high hopes of breaking this trend.