GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 23 Florida State men’s golf team won the SunTrust Gator Invitational Sunday for the first time since 1981 with a team score of 8-under 832. The team won by 15 strokes today at the Mark Bostick Golf Course on the University of Florida. Sophomore Daniel Berger won the individual title today for the first time in his career.
“I can’t explain how well this team played this weekend,” said head coach Trey Jones. “Placing four guys in the top 12 and 10 straight scores at par or better show our depth. From start to finish the guys never got ahead of themselves today.”
Sophomore Daniel Berger started the day in second and posted a strong back nine with four birdies to finish first. After having trouble Saturday on the 14th hole with a double bogey, the Jupiter, Fla., native carded a birdie on the same hole today to help post his career low round score of 65 (5-under). The Seminole finished with a three round total of 7-under 203.
“It feels great to get my first collegiate win but even better to win as a team,” said Berger. “We went out there and won it, no one handed us this win. To win on the Gator’s home course the way we did shows we can play against anyone and come out on top.”
“I am so proud of Daniel for his first win,” said Jones. “Three rounds in the 60’s and a closing 65 was impressive.”
Senior Doug Letson played some of his best golf at Florida State this weekend when he finished the tournament tied for third, it ties his highest finish at FSU. After posting a career low round of 66 yesterday, the Tampa, Fla., native posted a 2-under 68 for a tournament total of 2-under 208. Senior Chase Seiffert continued his stellar play at Florida State with three straight rounds at par. He finished the tournament in ninth place with an even par 210.
“It is an awesome feeling to get this win for not only the program but for Coach Jones,” said Seiffert. “He has wanted to win this for years and I’m glad to be a part of this winning team. This is a great start to me and Doug’s last semester of college golf.”
Freshman Hank Lebioda had the best tournament of his young career with a 2-over 212 to finish tied for 12th. The Winter Springs, Fla., native had three birdies and only one bogey to finish the day with his career round low of 68 (2-under). After starting the day in 28th, he moved up 16 spots. Freshman Rowin Caron posted an even par 70 today to finish the event tied for 25th with a six-over 216.
“I am really proud of the bounce back I had after my first round,” said Lebioda. “Having (assistant coach) Matt (Savage) walking every hold with me really helped me settle down and play my own game. Being able to contribute all three rounds to help win the Gator Invitational is huge for me. I couldn’t be prouder of the guys and how we played.”
The Seminoles were part of a 14-team field including No. 3 Florida, No. 12 Arkansas, No. 31 Liberty, No. 34 North Florida, No. 41 Mississippi State, No. 47 UCF, UAB, South Alabama, Georgia Southern, Memphis, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State and Lamar. Rankings come from GolfStat.