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Florida dominates final round to claim golf title

Special to Gatorsports.com

The Florida men's golf team dominated the final round Saturday to win the Gators Invitational for its second consecutive title of 2021 and second straight win at home.

"To shoot 15-under and come back to win the title in those conditions while playing at home is so special," UF coach JC Deacon said. "Our guys truly showed how great they can be. 15-under on your home course in the final round is certainly a great accomplishment.

"We will use this for motivation and continue to work to see how great we can be."

The Gators shot a two-day total of 271-275-265 — 811 (-29) to win their 44th annual event. Georgia and Auburn tied for second at 816 (-24) and LSU was fourth at 819 (-21).

Ricky Castillo entered the final round at even par before taking command at Mark Bostick Golf Course. The sophomore, who claimed the individual title in last year's Gators Invitational, recorded seven birdies and only one bogey on his way to a 6-under par round and finished competition in a tie for 11th individually.

Transfer Yuxin Lin paced the way for Florida. The All-American transfer rode his momentum deep into the final round and finished with a bogey-free scorecard. Entering the day 3-under par, Lin's five birdies propelled him to an 8-under par score of 202 and in a tie for sixth individually.

After a shining performance in the second round, freshman Joe Pagdin buckled down. Carding a bogey and a birdie within the first three holes, the England native found his stride and posted even par before a clutch eagle on the 17th hole put him 2-under on the day and in a tie for eighth at the conclusion of the tournament.

Fred Biondi turned in his best score of the tournament in the final round with the help of three birdies and an eagle over the first twelve holes.

Tyler Wilkes rounded out the lineup for the Gators, posting his third consecutive round under par to finish 5-under and tied for 18th individually.

Florida will travel to Baton Rouge, La. to compete in the LSU Invitational on Feb. 26.