Gators golfer Fred Biondi wins the Augusta Haskins Award Invitational April 2, 2023. (Photo via @GatorsGolf on Twitter)

Gators’ Biondi Earns SEC Golfer of the Week, Gators Move to SEC Championship

For the second time this season, Gators golfer Fred Biondi earned SEC Golfer of the Week honors, the conference announced Wednesday. This marks the fourth time the senior has earned the title in his career.

The recognition comes after a dominant performance at the Augusta Haskins Award Invitational April 1 and 2. The Brazilian native finished at the top of the individual leaderboard after shooting -15 over three rounds. His leaderboard-topping display also lead then-No. 12 Gators (Golfstat) to a team victory, the Gators now rank No. 10 leading up to the SEC Championship April 19. The win also gave Biondi an exemption into the PGA Tour’s 2023 3M Open Championship. Teammate Yuxin Lin also has an exemption in the Shriners Open following his victory at the Southern Highlands Collegiate.

Impressive Resurgence

While Biondi is the golfer of the week for his second time of the year, his season hasn’t been free of challenges. At the Southern Highlands Collegiate February 26-28 in Las Vegas, Biondi had a rough showing. While his teammate Lin played great, Biondi held his team up by shooting +17 in three rounds, by far his worst showing of the season. Biondi overcame the hiccup at the following event, the N.I.T., where he finished atop the five-man Gator squad with a score of -4.

Then, at the Augusta Haskins Award, Biondi looked phenomenal. His -15, aided by a bogey-free -7 in round three, tied for second all-time by par in program history. He also claims the 4th and 10th lowest scores by par in Gators history.

Successful 2023 Season for Florida

Biondi’s SEC Golfer of the Week marks the sixth time a Gators golfer has earned the accolade this season. Ricky Castillo, Ryan Hart and Yuxin Lin all earned the title under the “Golfer” portion, and Miguel Leal won it under the “Freshman” title. Head coach J.C. Deacon, who is in his ninth year at the helm, continues to produce successful players. Biondi, Castillo and Lin are all developed seniors who are making a big splash in the golf world, while newcomers Kress, Leal and Hart all show potential for the program’s future.

SEC Championship

The Gators enter the SEC Championship, held at Sea Island in St. Simons, Georgia, beginning April 19, riding a wave of self-assurance. With Biondi at his best, the whole team is firing on all cylinders. Last season, Florida finished runner-up and made it to the match play finals for the first time ever. In the tournament, Florida will face some serious competition in SEC foes such as No. 6 Auburn, No. 14 Tennessee, No. 15 Texas A&M and No. 16 Mississippi. But, with an experienced senior squad and a long-time head coach, the Gators have serious potential to top the SEC.

About Alex Winn

Sports Journalism student at the University of Florida.

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