After a disappointing ninth-place finish at their last tournament, the Bulls dropped even further to attain a 14th-place finish at the Gary Koch Invitational held Monday and Tuesday. The event, named for former University of Florida and professional golfer Gary Koch, was played on the Old Memorial Golf course in Tampa.
UF and the University of Central Florida hosted the event. UF, the reigning national champion and winner of last year’s event, destroyed the competition this year, winning by 26 strokes. The Bulls were 62 strokes back. USF shot combined rounds of 304-296-305 for a total of 905, 41 over par.
“To finish 14 out of 15 teams is not what we were looking for and not where we should have finished. Now, I will say this is probably the strongest field we’re going to play all year … There (was) TCU (Texas Christian University), which is ranked number one in the country as well as a few other teams, ranked in the top 10,” coach Jim Fee said.
The lone bright spot for the team was senior Ricky Carrillo’s 11th-place performance. His second round score of 69 was the best effort of any Bull golfer at the tournament.
“I felt pretty good. I know I can compete with all of the big guys,” Carrillo said. “Bubba Dickerson and Camilo Villegas, which are two nationally ranked players … I felt pretty confident.” Villegas and Dickerson finished first and second respectively in the tournament, shooting 207 and 208.
Carrillo went on to shoot a 76, his highest score of the tournament, and dropped out of the top 10.
Carrillo says he just caught a few bad breaks on shots he has never had happen to him before.
“I hit some shots into the bunker and then had to take some unplayable shots to get out,” he said.
The team next plays in Orlando at the Rio Pinar Intercollegiate Oct. 22- 23.