GATORS INSIDER: Men’s Golf Surges to 19-Stroke Lead at Sea Best Invitational

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The No. 12 University of Florida men’s golf team used some of its lowest scores of the year on Monday to build a 19-stroke lead and place four Gators in the top five entering the final round of play at the Sea Best Invitational.

The Orange and Blue posted a season-best round of 15-under 265 to open the day at TPC Sawgrass’ Dye’s Valley Course. The squad then recorded a 2-under 278 in the afternoon to wrap up the day with a total of -17 (543). The 265 tied for the lowest round score in school history and is Florida’s best team round in relation to par since 2010.

Freshman Sam Horsfield and sophomore Alejandro Tosti are tied for second with a total of 7-under 133. Each recorded the best round of his Gator career in the morning, with Horsfield posting a 5-under 65 and Tosti carding a 6-under 64. Horsfield shot -2 (68) in the afternoon, highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 first hole, while Tosti totaled -1 (69) in Round 2. The pair sit one stroke back of leader Joshua Martin of North Carolina.

Freshman Jorge Garcia’s rounds of 66-72 landed him in fourth place with a total of -2 (138). One shot behind him is junior Ryan Orr, who totaled -1 (139) by shooting rounds of 70-69.

The Gators aim to secure the win when they return to the Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass on Tuesday for the final round. Tee times start at 8 a.m., with the Florida lineup beginning to tee off at 9:30 a.m.

Women Nab Team and Individual Titles at Florida Challenge

The Gator women’s golf team opened its spring season with a bang on Monday by capturing the team and individual trophies at the Florida Challenge. The No. 12 Gators posted a score of -5 (571) to win the team title, beating runners-up Florida State and the five-team field by 12 strokes.

The 36-hole competition also saw junior Kelly Grassel and sophomore Taylor Tomlinson capture co-medalist honors alongside two FSU golfers, after firing a three-under 141. While it is Grassel’s first individual victory, the individual honor marks Tomlinson’s second collegiate championship after she won the Gators’ fall opener. Monday’s titles mark the second straight tournament the Gators have swept the podium, after wrapping up the fall season with the team title at the Alamo Invitational, where junior Maria Torres earned her first collegiate championship.

Juniors Torres, Sydney Needham, and Karolina Vlckova joined Tomlinson and Grassel in the top-10 at the par-72, 6,114-yard Black Diamond Ranch Quarry Course. Torres shot one-under 143, good for seventh place, while Needham scored 147 and Vlckova 148 for ninth and 10th, respectively.

Monday’s finish also marks the second time the Gators have swept the medals at the Florida Challenge, after UF won the team and individual titles at the inaugural 2013 in-state competition. The Orange and Blue have now accumulated 98 team titles and 75 individual titles in program history

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