Feb. 9, 2013
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 23 Florida State men's golf team started the spring season with a strong first day to lead 14 teams at the Gator Invitational on Saturday. The Seminoles played two rounds on the first day of competition at the Mark Bostick Golf Course at the University of Florida. The Seminoles are 1-over 561, nine strokes ahead of second place Florida. Florida State tees off at 9:10 a.m. Sunday morning to finish the tournament.
"Anytime you have three guys in the top three, you are going to do well," said head coach Trey Jones. "For us to be a good team, we are going to need all five players to do their part and contribute with rounds in the 60's and top 10 finishes."
Sophomore Daniel Berger currently leads the team and is second place overall with a 2-under 138. Berger poster two consecutive 69's today and is two strokes off the lead after eight birdies. Senior Chase Seiffert is tied for third after carding two 70's for an even par 140. Seiffert also had eight birdies on the day.
"I hit the ball great all day and hung in there," said Berger. "When you play 36 holes in one day, you just have to keep grinding and not let one bad shot affect the rest of your round and I did that today. We need to go out there tomorrow, not look at the scoreboard and make birdies; the rest will take care of itself."
Senior Doug Letson posted the low round of the day with a 4-under 66. In the first round, he had a 4-over 74 to improve eight strokes to the 66. Letson is currently tied for third with an even par 140.
"Doug was voted team captain on Wednesday and delivered the low round today of 66," said Jones. "We will need Doug's talent and experience tomorrow if we want to have a chance to win."
"I just got more confident as the day progressed," said Letson. "I made a few more putts and just tried to play fairly conservative and take advantage when I had opportunities."
Freshmen Hank Lebioda and Rowin Caron also posted eight stroke improvements today as well. Lebioda is tied for 28th with a 4-over 144. He started the day with a 6-over 76 to improve to a 2-under 68 following five birdies. Caron is tied for 36th after a first round 7-over 77 to a 1-under 69 for a two round total of 6-over 146.
"Our freshmen really struggled in round one," concluded Jones. "The scoring conditions were not easy and they were impatient. They showed their competitive spirit by coming back with solid rounds in the afternoon. These two guys are going to win some college golf tournaments before they are done."
The Seminoles are part of a 14-team field including No. 3 Florida, No. 12 Arkansas, No. 31 Liberty, No. 34 North Florida, No. 41 Mississippi State, No. 47 UCF, UAB, South Alabama, Georgia Southern, Memphis, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State and Lamar. Rankings come from GolfStat.
Live stats can be viewed here: http://www.golfstatresults.com/public/index.cfm?tournament_id=3564. Check back to Seminoles.com for all your information on the golf team and follow the team at twitter.com/fsugolf.