After a full month off from competition, the No. 18 West Florida men’s golf team will kick off postseason play Monday when it heads to the Gulf South Conference Golf Championships in Tunica, Miss.
The Argonauts will contend for their 11th all-time GSC Championship and seek their first victory in the tournament since 2010-11. Of all current GSC members, UWF owns the most wins in the event all-time, and is second only to former member Troy (13).
West Florida also looks to make it three-straight individual titles after boasting the individual champion the past two years. Otto Bonning claimed victory in 2011, while Carlos Rodriguez followed suit in 2012.
The format will consist of 54 holes over two days on the tight, winding and water-laden Tunica National Golf and Tennis Center course. The men will play 36 holes on Monday, followed by 18 on Tuesday.
- A GSC Mainstay
West Florida has been one of the most dominant men’s golf programs in the GSC, and will look to add to the history books overflowing with honors. Of the current GSC members, UWF is the winningest team all-time at the GSC Championship with 10 titles, which is double the next closest member Valdosta State (5). It is the second-most championships all-time, just three behind former member Troy.
- Viva Las Vegas
The Argonauts come into the GSC Championship with one victory under their belt this season after claiming the Las Vegas Desert Classic on Mar. 4. West Florida bested 17 other teams ranging from Division I to NAIA with 611 total (315-296), highlighted by Talin Rajendranath’s and Juan Miguel Heredia’s tie for third place shooting 150 total.
- Argos = Champions
After head coach Steve Fell seized the helm of the men’s golf program in 1994-95, West Florida has won at least one tournament title every season with the exception of two over his 19-year tenure. Of UWF’s 68 program victories, 55 have come under Fell, the most noteworthy of which were at the 2001 and 2008 NCAA Division II National Championship.
- Strength in Depth
Four different Argonauts average 75.00 strokes per round or better, allowing for a deep line-up where anyone is capable of going low. The strongest average belongs to sophomore Gary Buffington III, who averages 74.75 strokes over 20 rounds this season. Juan Miguel Heredia is barely a tenth of a stroke behind with 74.87 strokes per round, while Talin Rajendranath comes in with a 75.00 average. After one tournament, Adam Whipp holds the lowest overall average of 73.33.
- Did You Know?
All 10 of West Florida’s GSC Championships have come under head coach Steve Fell, who took over the program the year UWF went to the GSC (1994-95).
Of the 18 times UWF has played in the GSC Championship, it has finished out of the top two only three times.
UWF has the same number of GSC Championship individual titles as team titles, 10, which is tied for most all-time with Troy.
From Staff Reports