Florida Secures 5th NCAA Men’s Golf Championship with a 3-1 Victory over Georgia Tech

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In a thrilling showdown at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ, the Florida Gators showcased their tenacity and skill, overcoming challenging situations throughout the season to emerge as the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship winners.

Led by individual champion Fred Biondi, Florida delivered a remarkable performance, defeating Georgia Tech 3-1 in the championship match. Coach J.C. Deacon praised his team’s resilience and ability to remain focused during critical moments, highlighting their championship mindset.

Florida’s Path to Victory

Facing a formidable opponent in the semifinals, Florida found themselves in a precarious position against rival Florida State. However, the experienced Gators, known for their ability to dig themselves out of tough spots, rallied to secure a remarkable 3-2 victory, defying the odds and proving why even those who don’t usually bet on golf would be tempted to do so.

This triumph served as a testament to their determination and set the stage for an exciting showdown against Georgia Tech.

Championship Match Highlights

Florida’s Yuxin Lin set the tone for the final match by defeating Christo Lamprecht with a commanding 4 & 3 victory in the opening contest. The remaining matches proved to be nail-biters, with both teams battling fiercely in the challenging winds.

John DuBois secured a crucial victory for Florida, defeating Connor Howe by a narrow 1-up margin. However, Georgia Tech’s Bartley Forrester exhibited exceptional resilience, prevailing in a thrilling duel against Matthew Kress on the second extra hole after relinquishing a 2-up lead with only two holes remaining.

Biondi Seals Individual and Team Triumph

The ultimate highlight of the championship match was Fred Biondi’s heroic performance. Holding a 1-up lead after a conceded birdie on the 17th hole, Biondi demonstrated nerves of steel. His opponent, Hiroshi Tai, faced a challenging situation as his second shot from the left rough on the 18th plugged in the greenside bunker.

Although Tai managed to hit to approximately 10 feet, Biondi’s two-putt from 35 feet secured a Gators victory. With this achievement, Biondi became the first player since 2016 to win both the individual and team championships in the same season.

Gators Rejoice, Yellow Jackets Reflect

Ricky Castillo’s 1-up lead over Ross Steelman on the 18th hole coincided with Biondi’s decisive moment, solidifying the Gators’ long-awaited national title. Georgia Tech’s valiant efforts fell short, resulting in their fifth national runner-up finish, but first since the inclusion of match play.

Coach Bruce Heppler acknowledged his team’s exceptional performance, expressing pride in their accomplishments and emphasizing their bright future.

Potential Future Stars

Many of these players hope their college careers can catapult them to the next level. The three most likely candidates from Florida include Biondi, Lin, and Castillo. Lin is currently ranked No. 15 in the NCAA national rankings, while Biondi is the top-ranked Gators amateur at No. 16. Outside of Billy Horschel, the Gators have not had many stars on the PGA Tour since Chris DiMarco and Mark Calcavecchia joined the Champions Tour.

Georgia Tech is seeking its next Matt Kuchar. Lamprecht and Steelman are both ranked in the top 10 in the NCAA rankings, and Lamprecht is the No. 8 ranked world amateur.


Florida’s triumphant victory in the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship showcased its ability to overcome adversity and seize critical moments. The Gators claimed their fifth national title behind Fred Biondi’s exceptional performance and the team’s unwavering resilience. A few of these players will now seek even greater success, competing for the U.S. Amateur Championship and eyeing a future in the pros.

As the golfing world celebrates Florida’s achievement, both teams can reflect on this thrilling match as a testament to their skill, determination, and sportsmanship.

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