The Florida Atlantic University men’s golf team finished fifth among some of the nation’s elite NCAA Division I squads during the second-annual Spring Break Championship at the Gleneagles Country Club in Delray Beach.
The Owls shot a four-over-par 288 round during Sunday’s final round to surpass the University of Michigan (third after Saturday) and Florida Gulf Coast (fifth after Saturday) with an 866 team composite score. FAU finished one stroke behind Eastern Michigan University (865) for fourth place and four strokes away from third-place Penn State (862).
“We are getting better,” said Men’s Golf Head Coach Angelo Sands. “I would like thank my guys for all of their hard work throughout the year. We now know that we can play with almost any of the teams in the nation. We are just a few strokes away from the place we want to be which is contending for a national championship.”
The University of Illinois led wire-to-wire to take home the tournament title for the second straight year. The 10th-ranked Illini was the only team to post an under par score (-10) and won the event by a commanding 18 strokes. The University of Iowa finished second with an 860 team composite score.
The Illini’s Chris DeForest won individual medalist honors with three rounds under par and a total eight-under-par 205 score -- four strokes better than the second-place (209 score) trio of Eastern Michigan’s Cam Burke, University of Notre Dame’s Doug Fortner and Iowa’s Barrett Kelpin. DeForest opened the tournament with a 67 during Friday’s opening round on the 6,722-yard, par-71 course. Fortner tallied the tournament’s lowest round with a seven-under-par 64 on Friday. Illinois ’ team was also fortified by fifth-place finishes from Scott Langley and Zach Barlow, which both had 210 scores.
For FAU, sophomore Carl McCauley birdied the 18th hole to finish Sunday’s round with an even-par 71 to help vault the Owls up the team standings. McCauley finished the event in an eighth-place tie individually with an even par 213 overall score.
Senior Ben Silverman also closed strong with a birdie on the final hole to card a one-under-par 70 on Sunday. The Thornhill, Ontario native had a top-20 finish with a 217 composite score.
Other Florida Atlantic scorers included junior Kelly McHugh, who had a one-over-par 72 to tie for 27th place; and sophomores Michael Baskovich and Justin Thompson, which finished the 54-hole event with 224 scores. Baskovich shot the Owls’ lowest round of the tournament with a 69 on Saturday.
The second-annual Spring Break Championship Tournament featured 10 of the nation's top 100 NCAA Division I collegiate teams and four past national champions. Sixteen teams from 10 different states competed in the three-day event. Big Ten Conference teams joining Illinois in the tournament field included the University of Minnesota , University of Wisconsin , Iowa , Michigan and Penn State .
“I would like to thank the staff, volunteers and administration at Gleneagles for allowing us the opportunity to host this event,” said Sands. “Every single coach has said that they have never seen a club (Gleneagles Country Club) been so enthusiastic about hosting an event in their career.”
FAU will now have a break to prepare for the Sun Belt Conference Championship on April 26 in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
You can view team and individual results Here.