PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. –Jacksonville University fought through driving winds Tuesday in the finale of the 2017 Sea Best Invitational to take down two Top 30 teams in the GolfStat rankings and record its best three-round total at the event in program history.
"It was a great event. We had a good field, including a number of Top 40 schools. Our guys fought hard for 54 holes and ended up in sixth place. It wasn't what we were shooting for, but I'm proud of the effort and it's something to build on," said Head Coach Mike Blackburn.
The Dolphins recorded a three-round total of 857, 31 strokes better than their previous Sea Best low of 888 set last year, to finish sixth out of 15 teams. The 2016 defending champs and second-ranked Florida won the event with a score of 836, four strokes under par. #65 Lipscomb came in second with 845, #32 Liberty finished third with 853, #31 Arkansas finished fourth with 853, and #13 North Carolina came in fifth with 855. JU's 857 was just one point less than the 858 from #27 Florida State and #30 North Florida, who tied for seventh.
"Well it gives me a real positive feeling," said Blackburn on beating two Top 30 programs. "Our guys didn't play their best this week, so it gives you an overall confidence that you can compete at the level that some of these teams are."
Ryan Jahn wrapped up his career-best performance with a three-round total of 212 (67+70+75). The senior from Jupiter, Fla., finished with a 4.00 average on Par-4 holes, 4.83 on Par-5 holes, and 10 birdies. Raul Pereda tied for 18th with 215 (73+68+74), just three strokes behind Jahn. The junior from Cordoba, Mexico, had 10 birdies. David Wicks also finished in the Top 20, rebounding from a challenging first 36 holes with an impressive 68 in the final. The senior from Bexhill, England, tied for 20th with 216 (76+72+68). Elliott Fullalove also rebounded, carding a 71 in the final to bring his three-round total to 221 (76+74+71). The junior from Kingswood, England, tied for 42nd. Sam Uhland had a bit of an up-and-down tournament, carding a 71 in the first round, stumbling a bit in the second, and rebounding nicely with a 73 in the final. The sophomore from Jacksonville, Fla., tied for 60th with 224 (71+80+73). Zachary Alligood, who played as an individual, carded 237 (78+81+78) through three rounds to tie for 77th.
Florida's Ryan Orr, who played as an individual, won the event with a 204 (67+66+71). He narrowly defeated his teammate, Alejandro Tosti, who had 205 (68+68+69).
Jacksonville returns to action on February 18 at the Gator Invitational, hosted by Florida at the University of Florida Golf Club in Gainesville, Fla.