By: Jordan Harirchi, Assistant Sports Editor
The UNF men’s golf team was recognized nationally after finishing 20 strokes ahead of its nearest opponent in an event featuring seven Top 25-ranked schools.
The No. 14-ranked UNF golf team finished 21-under-par in the Gary Koch Invitational April 7-8 in Tampa. With three Ospreys finishing in the top five, freshman Joey Petronio led the Ospreys, earning his first career event win and Golfweek Player of the Week.
Petronio took first, finishing 8-under par and two strokes ahead of Alabama’s Hunter Hamrick and teammate Sean Dale, who both finished at 6-under par. Junior Kevin Phelan wasn’t too far from his teammates, finishing fourth at 5-under par.
The event concluded the Ospreys’ regular season. The two-day event featured nationally ranked schools, such as No. 2 Alabama, No. 4 Auburn and No. 9 Georgia Tech.
Head coach Scott Schroeder said Petronio’s strong play contributed greatly to UNF’s dominant play in winning its fourth golf tournament title of the season.
“We’ve never had three players play really well,” Schroeder said. “Usually, it’s been two [Dale and Phelan].”
The Ospreys won’t face Top 25-littered competition similar to the Gary Koch Invitational in the Atlantic Sun Championship, but the team will still need three consistent golfers in its upcoming tournament, Schroeder said.
“The line between playing average and good isn’t very wide,” Schroeder said. “Hopefully this will be Joey’s [Petronio] springboard going into conference.”
In just one event, Petronio’s ranking shot from up from No. 246 to No. 158 after beating seven Top 25-ranked players.
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