Sam Horsfield turned in his best performance of the season and the Florida Gators won the team title Sunday at the Schenkel Invitational.
Horsfield shot 2-under 70 at Forest Heights Country Club to wrap up a third-place performance, besting his previous top finish of the season, a T-6 at the Carpet Capital Collegiate to open the fall. He finished at 9-under 207, three shots back of medalist Patrick Martin of Vanderbilt.
“Sam was our rock and he’s been our rock for two years and he did it again today,” Florida head coach J.C. Deacon said.
But make no mistake, this was a team win, Deacon said. The Gators, ranked seventh in the country, came together with a 6-under performance Sunday to finish at 18 under and win by two shots over Georgia Southern, the 36-hole leader. Vanderbilt, the nation’s top-ranked team, finished third at 15 under.
Making the win more impressive, Florida, which started the final round eight shots off the lead, won without Alejandro Tosti and Jorge Garcia in the lineup. Ryan Orr tied for 12th, and Andy Zhang and Gordon Neale shared 18th.
“I know it’s our fourth team victory of the year, but this one is different,” Deacon said. “We had to come from way back. Only the guys in our room will really know it, but we’ve been going through a lot of adversity and for the guys to come out and play the way they did today, hit the clutch shots when they did today was incredibly rewarding for me to see. I am so happy for them. It was an amazing day, really special.
“… As Jeremy Foley told me earlier today, when champions get knocked on their back, they get up and win. We have five or six champions on this team who came to the Schenkel this weekend and they sure showed it today.”
Vanderbilt was without its top player, senior Matthias Schwab, who was competing in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Commodores coach Scott Limbaugh watched Schwab’s opening round Thursday before heading to Statesboro.
During that round he talked about how he wished more people would realize how good Martin is. He might get his wish now. Martin, ranked 24th by Golfweek, proved himself Sunday with his first collegiate victory. He made just two bogeys in 54 holes to shoot 12 under.