Tallahassee - The No. 12 Florida State men’s golf team finished tied for second at the Seminole Intercollegiate after playing 26 holes on Saturday. The Seminoles now have a team title and two second place finishes this year. Senior Joaquin Lolas tied for third at the Southwood Golf Club, the top finish by a Seminole.
The field started the second round of the tournament bright and early at 8:30am to fit in two rounds of golf on Saturday. The team had a strong start with a 7-under 279 second round to move the team up to second place after starting the day at fourth. The team struggled in the third round with a 5-over 293 but managed to stay tied for second despite a strong showing by USF. Mercer won their second tournament of the year with an 8-under 856, six strokes ahead of Florida State and USF.
“We didn’t execute today, we played a good week last week but I’m not sure if our guys thought they can come here and play well because they were playing at home,” said head coach Trey Jones. “It got difficult for them and they didn’t handle the challenges. It’s a young team and we’re going to learn from that and move on. If we can be a better team at the end of the year, then it’s productive. It was disappointing but we’ve got to play better than we did today. There is an opportunity for us to get better through our experiences this week. Every time you go out it’s a different day.”
While the five-man team was playing competing for the team score, Florida State had four individuals competing in the individual standings. Senior Joaquin Lolas had his best showing at Florida State finishing tied for third with a 3-under 213. He posted a tournament low 67 in the morning making six birdies and one bogey for 5-under. He played even par golf in the third round with only one birdie and bogey for a 72.
“My main goal for today was to be patient,” said Lolas. “I was able to play well in the morning but unfortunately the putts didn’t drop in the afternoon. Overall it feels really good to be back competing and seeing my hard work start to pay off.”
Freshman Harry Ellis turned in his best round of his collegiate career with a 5-under 67, which was also tied for the lowest round of the tournament. The Northampton, England, native teed off from eight and carded a birdie which would be just one of six in the round. With only one bogey, on 18, he finished the morning with a 5-under 67.
Freshman Jack Maguire also started the morning off with a birdie while teeing off from the fifth hole. He finished out the morning with back-to-back birdies on one and two to finish the morning with a 70. Sophomore Hank Lebioda had a strong showing of a 71 which was highlighted by making a 25 foot putt for birdie on 18. Freshman Cristobal Del Solar also posted a 71 in the second round.
Without taking a break, the teams continued play right into the third round. Due to potential bad weather on Sunday, the teams played two rounds on Saturday.
Sophomore Rowin Caron started the third round with two bogeys but proceeded to make six birdies in eight holes to keep the team’s hope alive for second place. He finished the round with a 2-under 70 and finished the event tied for eighth with a 2-under 214.
“Obviously we’re upset we didn’t do better in the end,” said Caron. “Personally I didn’t play very well; I was struggling with some short game shots and made some unnecessary bogeys. I managed to keep it together in the end for my round. We wanted to do better, especially at our home tournament. We can just get better from here.”
Maguire also finished the tournament tied for eighth. Despite starting the third round four-over through ten holes, the freshman remained calm under pressure and came up with two birdies to lower his round to a 74. Ellis had his best finish at Florida State tied for 16th with a 2-over 218. Lebioda finished one stroke behind his teammate tied for 21st while Del Solar finished 28th with a 220.
“I definitely know we didn’t put our best rounds out there,” said Lebioda. “Despite that we hung in there tough and fought through a couple of adversities. It hurts losing our home tournament and not defending our own turf. It brought us back down to Earth after the 41-under par last week at USF. It’s a reality check which we need with being such a young team. When you have such great success, you have to realize what you did to get there; you put in the hard work and preparation. We are going to learn from this and grow from this and come out playing even stronger next time.”
The Seminole compete in The Floridian next weekend in Palm City, Fla. Check back to Seminoles.com for all your information on the golf team and follow the team at twitter.com/fsugolf.