Following last weekend’s Schenkel Invitational, the fourth-ranked Gator men’s golf team is fresh off of their fourth win of the season. Florida’s fourth victory doubles last season’s total, and the Gators have now won four of the eight tournaments they’ve played in. This weekend, Florida will travel to Nashville for the Mason Rudolph Championship.
Competing with the Elite
Florida men’s golf head coach JC Deacon is in his third season with the program, and the Gators have steadily improved since he took over. Nashville will provide Florida with an opportunity to break through and separate themselves from other elite men’s golf teams. After all, top-ranked Vanderbilt will have an undeniable edge over the visiting competition.
“They’re such a phenomenal program and team, and they’ll be a really, really tough test there.” Deacon said of the hosting Commodores. “So, the guys know we have our work cut out, but at the same time we’re excited for the opportunity.”
After finishing tied for third in the SEC Championships and 15th in the NCAA Championships last season, this year will make or break the progress that Florida has made.
Building Momentum Down the Stretch
At a combined score of 846, Florida scored -3 under Vanderbilt to secure their fourth Schenkel Invitational Title. While Vanderbilt will have a sense of familiarity with the course, Florida is riding momentum after an impressive comeback in the final round.
“The Schenkel Invitational…was a huge step for us this year. Winning that tournament the way we did – I believe we were down eight (strokes) going into the final round.” Deacon also said this team has supported each another and come together unlike any other team he’s had while at UF.
As for Florida’s key to success: Deacon says rest and mental clarity are vital this time of year. Although, Florida’s men’s team continues to spend time in the weight room, ensuring they maintain flexibility and strength.
First round action of the Mason Rudolph Championship will get underway Friday, March 31st from Nashville, Tennessee.