Scott Stricklin

Three Gators Finish Top-20 at Men’s NIT Golf in Arizona

Seniors Fred Biondi and Ricky Castillo as well as redshirt freshman Matthew Kress placed top-20 at the NIT in Tucson, Arizona, as Florida men’s golf finished seventh out of 13 teams.

The two-day, 54-hole tournament was held at Omni Tucson National Resort eight top-25 ranked teams including the number 12 Gators.

Number 18 Arizona hosted the event and finished 24 under par to win by one stroke over ninth ranked Pepperdine. Number three Arizona State finished two shots back (-22), while number four Illinois and 22nd ranked Oklahoma State (-21) rounded out the top-five on the leaderboard.

Four Gators Finish Under Par

Florida shot 14 under par as four of its five golfers finished in red figures. Biondi carded a three-under-par 69 in Saturday’s final round to tie for 16th place (-4). The São Paulo, Brazil, native made four birdies on the back nine Saturday before he bogeyed the par-4 18th hole.

Castillo and Kress both finished three under par (T-20), while sophomore Ryan Hart tied his career low with a second-round 68 on his way to a two-under-par finish (T-27).

Castillo shot an opening-round 68, while Kress carded a pair of 3-under-par rounds of 69.

Italian fifth-year Giovanni Manzoni — who is number 21 in the Arnold Palmer Cup Rankings — failed to break par in all three rounds and finished three over par (T-55).

Augusta on April Fools’ Ahead of SEC Championship

The Gators will return home to prepare for back-to-back events in Georgia. They’ll travel to Augusta for the Augusta Haskins Award Invitational set to begin on April Fools’ Day.

Following the two-day, 54-hole tournament, Florida will head south to St. Simons Island to compete in the SEC Championship at Sea Island Golf Club. The conference tournament will kick off on April 19 with the match-play finals set for April 23.

About Griffin Foll

Hi, my name is Griffin Foll and I am currently a senior at UF studying journalism with a focus on sports and media and an outside concentration in political science. In addition to covering the 2023 UF men's and women's golf beats, I contribute weekly web and radio content for WRUF ESPN Gainesville. Be sure to check out some of my recent articles!

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