Golf team topples over larger schools, climb national rankings

Spinnaker

The UNF golf team placed second out of 15 teams competing in the 31st annual Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational, making them nationally ranked 23rd in the Golfweek/Sagarin performance index.

 The Ospreys finished the tournament with a total score of 863, coming up just short of Auburn University’s score of 862. UNF was able to defeat last year’s victor North Carolina, whose final score was 872, which ranked them seventh place in the tournament.

 Leading by seven strokes while entering the final round, UNF stammered through the final day shooting 11-over and finishing 1-under for the tournament. UNF ended two strokes ahead of Virginia and placed ahead of 11 ACC or SEC schools.

 Severe winds and rain threatened the performance of the team during the final round as Auburn and UNF were the only two teams finishing the tournament under par.

 Competing as an individual, UNF senior Jordan Gibb tied for first place with two other golfers with a score of 211 before Jonathan Randolph of Ole Miss defeated him in a one-hole playoff, birdying in the win over Gibb and University of Alabama’s Hunter Hamrick. In Gibb’s final round, he shot 71 and finished the tournament at 5-under.

 Freshman Kevin Phelan and senior J.C Horne lead the team to near victory finishing with a tie for fourth place with 4-under 212’s.

 Playing with his second sprained ankle of the season, sophomore Sean Dale led the Ospreys with a national ranking of 21 according to golfstat.com.

 While UNF head coach Scott Schroeder described the defeat as disappointing for the teamhe said UNF played strongly for nine holes before struggling down the last stretch. Schroeder expressed pride for the hard work of the UNF golf team, who beat 14 schools competing in the tournament.

 “We played good for nine holes and then struggled down the stretch,” Schroeder said after the tournament. “We will learn from the day and continue to work hard. But finishing second in this field is really good. Anytime you beat those schools, you have to be happy.”

 In addition to UNF and the host school, Georgia Southern University, the other 15 teams competing included AlabamaAuburnFloridaKentuckyLouisville, Louisville State, North CarolinaNorth Carolina State, Ole Miss, South CarolinaTennessee, Vanderbilt and Virginia.

 UNF finished ahead of six teams that were ranked higher than them in the golfstat.com national rankings.  

 The golf team will now travel to Mississippi for the Reunion Intercollegiate April 5 – April 6.