April 9, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. - The Seminoles knew they had a challenge to hold on to their lead at the Gary Koch Invitational on Tuesday. With the strong play of everyone on the team, No. 18 Florida State passed the test and came away with its third victory of the spring.
En route to the team title, freshman Rowin Caron came away with his first collegiate individual title as he tied for first. All six Seminoles competing the past two days finished in the top 12 at the par 72, 7389 yard Old Memorial Golf Club.
"It's great to see the guys' hard work pay off with today's win," said head coach Trey Jones. "We did what we had to do to win. Rowin putted very well on Monday. I'm so proud of him getting his first collegiate win and look forward for more to come. Anytime you have all your players finish in the top 12 is an amazing feeling."
Entering the third round, the Seminoles had a one stroke lead and ended up finishing the tournament with a seven stroke lead over No. 8 Georgia Tech. The team posted a 2-under 286 Tuesday for a three-round total of 23-under 841.
After posting a 2-over on the front nine, Caron came back strong after he made the turn and finished the day with a 1-under 71 for a two-day total of 207 (-9). With no playoff for the individual honor, Caron tied with Georgia Tech's Bo Andrews.
"My game plan was mainly to hit as many greens as possible because I knew the up and downs would be hard," said Caron. "I actually didn't hit the ball that well yesterday but putted really well which gave me two 68s. Today I hit the ball better; hit a lot of greens but the putts wouldn't really drop. I just enjoyed myself and played consistent."
Sophomore Daniel Berger posted a 2-over on the front nine but bounced back with a birdie followed by an eagle on the back nine. Berger carded a 71 on Tuesday for a tournament score of 5-under 211. Berger has now placed fifth or better in six tournaments this year.
"I knew we needed a strong finish to keep us in contention," said Berger. "I settled down on the back nine and hit a really nice shot from 210 to 5 feet on the 11th hole and then on 12 had a 30 footer for eagle and hit a great putt that went in. It felt so good to be able to help the team out although it wasn't my best day."
"I was really proud of how I played the last two rounds," said Lebioda. "To be able to battle and hang in there gives me a lot of confidence going into postseason. It means a lot to be a part of the three line-ups that won this spring. Knowing that you helped your team to a win is a feeling hard to match."
Senior Doug Letson and junior Joaquin Lolas posted nearly identical scores the past two days. They both finished the day with 2-over 74s for a three-round total of 1-under 215. Letson and Lolas finished tied for 12th.
The Seminoles were part of a 14-team field including No. 8 Georgia Tech, No. 9 Florida, No. 19 North Florida, No. 20 Auburn, No. 26 Wake Forest, No. 50 Georgia Southern, College of Charleston, Jacksonville, Kentucky, Ohio State, Pacific, South Florida and UNCG.
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GARY KOCH INVITATIONAL