GAINESVILLE, Fla. –
Behind a pair of two-under par 68s from senior Sebastian Cappelen
and sophomore Taylor Moore
, the No. 23 Arkansas men’s golf team expanded on its three-stroke lead entering the final round with a team score of one-under 279 en route to capturing the Gator Invitational by six strokes on Sunday at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.
The tournament title is the second of the year for the Razorbacks, who captured the Crooked Stick Intercollegiate in the fall. Sunday’s win came against a competitive field of 14 teams that featured five teams in the Golf World/Nike Golf Top 25 ranking.
Arkansas accounted for two of the five lowest team rounds during Saturday’s opening 36 holes, while its 279 on Sunday was one of three under-par rounds turned in by the field. The two-day total of 286-284-279/849 finished six strokes ahead of No. 22 Florida State, nine in front of No. 21 Vanderbilt and 14 ahead of No. 8 UCF.
“I’m very proud of the team for coming out of the winter break with a lot of focus,” said head coach Brad McMakin
, who has led Arkansas to 19 team wins. “I thought our approach from the start was really good and the guys were mentally prepared. Everyone contributed to this win. It was a complete team effort.”
After strong winds made Saturday’s opening 36 holes on the par 70, 6701-yard course even more challenging, Sunday presented perfect scoring conditions as Cappelen and Moore both finished even-par or lower on each side. The duo finished in a tie for fourth overall, just four strokes off the lead and they were two of just five players in the field of 75 to shoot even-par or lower over the two days.
A member of The Ben Hogan Award Watch List, Cappelen was Arkansas’ low-man in two of three rounds with a 71-71-68/210(E) scorecard. The Denmark native’s 12 birdies were the third-most in the field while he’s now finished in the top 5 in three of six events this year.
After just two birdies over the first 36 holes, Moore carded six on Sunday for his four under-par round of the year and a season-low 68. Moore’s 68 followed rounds of 72 and even-par 70, as he was Arkansas’ leader with 30 pars over the weekend.
Making his first start of the year, redshirt senior William Meason
turned in an impressive performance by tying for 14th overall. Meason entered Sunday as the Razorbacks’ low-man after rounds of 72 and one-under 69 on Saturday. Meason was bogey-free over his first 12 holes during Saturday’s second round as his 69 was a career-low. He three-round 72-69-75/216 was also a career-best by eight strokes.
Redshirt sophomore Kolton Crawford
and sophomore Nicolas Echavarria
rounded out five players in the top 30. Both Crawford and Echavarria turned in two counting scores en route to tying for 30th with scores of 220.
Arkansas will look to carry over the momentum from its season-opening tournament title to the Bayou City Collegiate Championships next weekend. The three-day event begins on Friday, Feb. 21, at Redstone Golf Club.
T4. Sebastian Cappelen
T4. Taylor Moore
T14. William Meason
T30. Nicolas Echavarria
T30. Kolton Crawford
T50. Zach Coats
Gator Invitational Results (Golf World/Nike Golf Ranking)
1. Arkansas (23) – 286-284-279(-1)/849
2. Florida State (22) – 284-292-279(-1)/855
3. Vanderbilt (21) – 293-284-281/858
4. UCF (8) – 299-289-275(-5)/863
T5. UAB (11) – 297-290-281/868
T5. Mercer – 295-278(-2)-295/868
T7. Georgia Southern – 292-291-291/874
T7. Liberty – 295-296-283/874
9. College of Charleston – 292-294-291/877
10. North Florida – 293-295-292/880
11. Florida – 291-297-293/881
12. Lamar – 297-300-289/886
13. Coastal Carolina – 306-292-290/888
14. Jacksonville – 310-299-300/909