UF’s Castillo named Outstanding Freshman Award winner


Special to Gatorsports.com

NORMAN, Okla. – Ricky Castillo continued to add to his collegiate accolades as he earned the NCAA Division I Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman Award, the Golf Coaches Association of America announced Thursday.

“It’s an honor to win this incredible award that so many great players have won,” said Castillo. “I am really excited to represent the Gators.”

Castillo becomes the third Gator in program history to receive this award, joining Camilo Villegas (2001) and Sam Horsfield (2016).

Despite an abbreviated season, Castillo dominated for the Gators. Over his 21 rounds played, Castillo posted the lowest single-season scoring average in program history at 70.08. Individually, he finished inside the top 25 at every event with all 21 of his rounds included in the UF’s counting scores.

Castillo opened the spring with back-to-back individual titles, claiming the crown at the Sea Best Invitational and VyStar Gators Invitational by a combined 11 strokes. The Yorba Linda, Calif., native then followed those performances with an impressive 5-under 211 at Southern Highlands Collegiate to tie for sixth. Through his nine rounds of the spring, Castillo shot a collective 26 under with a scoring average of 67.78.

Following his freshman campaign, Castillo was selected to the 2020 U.S. Arnold Palmer Cup Team, and named a finalist for the 2020 Ben Hogan Award. Additionally, he earned NCAA Division I PING All-Southeast Region honors, and was tabbed a NCAA Division I PING First Team All-American.

Castillo is joined on the All-Freshman team by Johnny Keefer of Baylor, Yuxin Lin of Southern California, William Mouw of Pepperdine, and Mark Power of Wake Forest.