Florida golf: Fred Biondi wins men’s individual title as Gators advance to NCAA Championship finals

By OnlyGators.com Staff
May 30, 2023
Florida golf: Fred Biondi wins men’s individual title as Gators advance to NCAA Championship finals

Image Credit: UAA

It has been a banner season for Florida Gators men’s golf under head coach JC Deacon, and the program only continues to increase its profile this postseason. On Monday, senior Fred Biondi became the third Florida men’s golfer to win the NCAA Championship as an individual, and on Tuesday, the No. 2 Gators men’s team advanced to face the No. 5 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the NCAA national championship match following a semifinal win over the rival No. 6 Florida State Seminoles.

Biondi stormed back from five shots down entering the final round by matching a career-low with a final-round 3-under 67. In doing so, he joined Nick Gilliam (2001) and Bobby Murphy (1996) as Gators individual champions, became the first Florida golfer to finish under par in the final tournament of the season since 2012 and earned exemptions to the 2023 U.S. Open in June and 2024 Masters next April (as long as he retains his amateur status).

Biondi was also given the 2023 Division I Arnold Palmer Champion Award and finished No. 2 in the final 2023 PGA Tour U Rankings, becoming fully exempt for the Korn Ferry Tour in 2023 and earning a spot in the final stage of 2023 PGA Tour Q-School where he will have a chance to earn a PGA Tour card.

Florida on Tuesday defeated the No. 7 Virginia Cavaliers in quarterfinal action before taking down Florida State, which bested Illinois earlier in the day, to advance to Wednesday’s finals. The Gators defeated the ‘Noles 3-2, ultimately needing three playoff holes int he final match to secure victory after tying on the 18th.

Florida trailed FSU 0-2 in match play and appeared on the brink of elimination. Suddenly, Biondi clawed back to win his match 1 UP, senior John DuBois rallied to win 1 UP, and senior Ryan Castillo stormed back from down two strokes to edge his opponent in three playoff holes, clinching the semifinal victory.

Earlier Tuesday against the Hoos, Biondi lost 6&5 with DuBois (3&2) and Castillo (4&3) taking the contest to its final match. That’s when senior Yuxin Lin completed a rally from three strokes down to win 2UP and send the Gators into the semifinals.

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