Four Gators Earn SEC Awards


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Four Gators earned SEC awards, the league office announced on Friday. 

Fred Biondi and John DuBois both earned first team honors for the first time in their career while Ricky Castillo collected his second straight second team nod followed by Tyler Wilkes on the community service team. 

The SEC Individual Champion, DuBois became the 25th Gator to win the title, which is the most by any school in the conference. He tied for the third-lowest round (64, -6) in SEC history as concluded the stroke play portion of the tournament setting career lows in round (64), tournament score (204) and best finish (1). The native of Windermere, Fla., followed his historic performance by sending the Florida men’s golf team to the SEC Championship Finals with his victory on the playoff hole in the semifinals vs. No. 1 Texas A&M.  He teed off the 18th 1-down and won the hole to force extras. DuBois nearly eagled the hole (565 yards, par 5) as he two putted from seven feet for another memorable moment.

DuBois owned a stroke average of 72.0 and ranked third on the team with 80 birdies and 3.0 per round. The junior went 2-1 in the match play portion of the SEC Championship as he played in all 27 rounds for the first time in his career. 

Posting a breakout season, Biondi led the team in stroke average (69.8), 18-hole average (-1.2) and 54-hole average (-3.7) relation to par. A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, he claimed two collegiate titles, including his first at the VyStar Gators Invitational where he finished 14-under at 196 to tie the tournament record and third all-time in tournament score by par in three rounds in program history.. 

A member of the Spring Haskins Award Watch List, he was named Golf Week Player of the Week and twice SEC Golfer of the Week this season. He has shot nine rounds in the 60s with five straight and four consecutive tournaments under-par. Biondi also led the team in birdies per round (4.0) and second in total birdies with 83. 

Earning his fifth SEC honor, Castillo led UF with four top-5 and five top-10 finishes and ranked third in stroke average (71.2). His 14 under-par rounds also ranked first on the team along with 10 of them in the 60s. The junior posted back-to-back rounds of 68 to finish T5 at the SEC Championship. He carried that momentum into the match play portion of the conference championship going 2-0-1. In the finals vs. Vanderbilt, Castillo didn’t lose a hole until the 10th and had five birdies through his first six holes.

Collecting his first community service award, Wilkes worked with Team Impact, a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston, Mass., that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams. The sophomore also worked with Shands Children Hospital. 

The Florida men’s golf team was tabbed the No. 2 seed in the Palm Beach Gardens Regional and will tee off at 7:30 a.m. on Monday at PGA National Resort. 

SEC AWARDS

FIRST TEAM ALL-SEC

John DuBois, Florida

Cole Sherwood, Vanderbilt

Sam Bennett, Texas A&M

Fred Biondi, Florida

Trent Phillips, Georgia

Jackson Suber, Ole Miss

Spencer Cross, Tennessee

Gordon Sargent, Vanderbilt

 

SECOND TEAM ALL-SEC

J.M. Butler, Auburn

Ryan Hall, South Carolina

Walker Lee, Texas A&M

Reid Davenport, Vanderbilt

Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira, Arkansas

Bryce Lewis, Tennessee

Luke Long, Arkansas

Ricky Castillo, Florida

 

COACH OF THE YEAR

Scott Limbaugh, Vanderbilt

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Sam Bennett, Texas A&M

SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Ford Clegg, Mississippi State

  

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR

Gordon Sargent, Vanderbilt

 

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM

Cohen Trolio, LSU

Maxwell Ford, Georgia

Gordon Sargent, Vanderbilt

Evan Vo, Auburn

Kye Meeks, Ole Miss

 

COMMUNITY SERVICE TEAM

Canon Claycomb, Alabama

Wil Gibson, Arkansas

Brendan Valdes, Auburn

Tyler Wilkes, Florida

Connor Creasy, Georgia

Jacob Cook, Kentucky

TBD, LSU

Jack Gnam, Ole Miss

Harrison Davis, Mississippi State

Tommy Boone, Missouri

Ryan Hall, South Carolina

Spencer Cross, Tennessee

Michael Heidelbaugh, Texas A&M

Cole Sherwood, Vanderbilt

 



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