Yuxin Lin (left) and Fred Biondi (right) during the practice round of the 2022 NCAA National Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club. Photo By: Anna Carrington

Yuxin Lin Earns First Collegiate Victory, Gators Men’s Golf Slips

The number 11 Florida men’s golf team battled top competition in the Southern Highlands Collegiate February 26-28 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gator senior Yuxin Lin topped the highly touted field, winning his first collegiate tournament. The Gators squad, however, tied f0r sixth in a field of 15.

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Lin’s Dominance

The senior hailing from Beijing, China, started his tournament off strong. He shot 64 (-8) in his first round and 70 (-2) in his second round, putting him in a tie for first. In his final round, he shot a 69 (-3), coming to a total of 203 strokes (-13) and surpassing the nearest competition by three strokes. Lin scored -5 on par 3s (T-1st in field) and -7 on par 4s (1st in field). He holed 15 birdies and 35 pars, and was the only Gator to eagle in the tournament.

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In his freshman season, Lin was tied for first at the Southern Highlands, but lost in a playoff. This year, he came out on top, completely undisputed. With the win, he earned an exemption into the PGA’s Shrines Children’s Open October 12-15 at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. The solo win marks the third-straight tournament a Gator was victorious, following Fred Biondi (Sea Best Invitational) and Ricky Castillo (VyStar Credit Union Gators Invitational).

Team Falls Short

Despite Lin putting up the best score in the tournament, the Gators were unable to outlast their opponents. Castillo was the only other Gator under par (-2), and Giovanni Manzoni put up a solid effort (+2). But John DuBois (+9) and Biondi (+17) held the squad back. Uncharacteristically, Biondi shot over par all three rounds (75, 80, 78) and scored +9 on par 5s, last in the field.

The Gators finished with a final total of 854 (-10), tying for sixth with Georgia Tech, who made a splash in the third round. Illinois won the tournament with a total of 843 (-21).

Also, Quentin Debove, who competed as an individual, put up a score of 219 (+3), tying him at 46th place.

Next outing

The Gators are back on the course March 17 and 18 at the NIT hosted by Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. That tournament is the precursor to their final regular season tournament, which is April 1 and 2 at the Augusta Haskins Award Invitational. Expect Lin to build off his momentum and the rest of the squad to back him up.

About Alex Winn

Sports Journalism student at the University of Florida.

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