Florida Gators

Gators Men’s Golf Takes Home SEC Title

The Florida Gators Men’s Golf team took home the 2023 SEC Championship on Sunday. Florida defeated Vanderbilt 3-1-1 in the SEC finals at the Sea Island Golf Club to clinch their first conference title since 2011. Gators Men’s Golf head coach JC Deacon talked about winning the first SEC Championship in his nine years with the program.

Gators’ Key Moment in Finals Win

Deacon says the biggest difference between Florida and Vanderbilt was the play of senior John DuBois. The senior struggled on the first three holes, as he went three down against Vanderbilt’s Reid Davenport. Despite the early struggles, DuBois fought back into the match. Deacon praised DuBois’ tenacity and strong demeanor as he came back to win the match for the Gators.

The Gators got two early points from Matthew Kress and Ricky Castillo, as both got 5&4 wins. Vanderbilt got a point after a 5&3 win to make it 2-1. In the fourth match, Fred Biondi came back to tie his match against Gordon Sargent after being down one. DuBois came back to tie his game on the sixteenth hole. On Hole 18, DuBois made the game-winning putt to seal the win. Deacon highlighted that putt for the match by saying that it will be a moment he never forgets.

With this win, the Gators have secured automatic qualification to the NCAA Regionals from May 15-17. Deacon feels that the team getting over the hump and winning the conference tournament will give them a boost going into the regionals. The team will know about their status for the regionals on May 3 and they are hoping they did enough to get a one seed.

The Culture of the Gators Men’s Golf Team

With the SEC title win, the Gators hope to win more this season. One of the main things that has been special about the team this season has been the team’s culture. Deacon said the core of the Gators lineup for three years has consisted of DuBois, Castillo, Biondi and Yuxin Lin. Those four players and Kress were the five guys used in the SEC finals match. Even though they have been the main players in the lineup, the match against Vanderbilt showed how close the whole team is. Deacon said that the reserves drove up to the Sea Island Golf Club to support the five guys in the lineup.

The support showed by the reserve players is a big step forward for a team with a lot of confidence. Deacon applauded the players who were not in the lineup for making the atmosphere special in the team’s win. The Gators know there are bigger obstacles ahead and Deacon hopes they can achieve more after the conference finals win on Sunday.

About Matt Rothmann

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