GAINESVILLE, Fla.- Senior Raul Pereda led the way for the Jacksonville University men's golf team for the third time in tournament play this season, as the Dolphins concluded competition at the 2018 SunTrust Gator Invitational, Sunday afternoon.
The Mexico native carded one-under 69 in the final flight to finish three-under 207 (66+72+69) on the weekend, good enough for a four-way tie for 12th place with golfers from South Florida, UAB, and Arkansas.
"We didnt play our best golf towards the end, by that can happen when you're against some of the top teams," said Head Coach Mike Blackburn.
Perada was the only 'Phin to finish under par in the event, which saw JU finish in 10th place out of a 16-squad field that featured four top-25 teams. Jacksonville entered the day sitting in fifth after the first two rounds at the Mark Bostick Golf Course, ultimately shooting 11-over 850 (275+284+291) in the team's second tournament of the spring season.
Freshman Eduardo Carrete, who entered day three as the highest-placing Dolphin competitor, finished T-37, accumulating a score of five-over 215 (72+65+78), which included his career-low in a round.
"Eduardo had a good round, and Raul fared well, so there are some positives that we can take out of this weekend," Blackburn added.
The 41st edition of the annual tournament hosted by the University of Florida was won by No. 5 Vanderbilt, who carded the lowest team round of each flight of the event. The Commodores shot a tournament-low 270 in Sunday's third round to complete the win 18 strokes under par (274+278+270=822), edging out host No. 6 Florida (275+278+278=831) by nine shots. No. 25 South Florida (278+281+276=835) and No. 32 North Florida (278+282+277= 837) each shot under par on day three to finish third and fourth respectively, while UCF (274+284+280=838) evened-out on the final flight to wind up a stroke behind UNF, in fifth place.
Missouri's Hayden Buckley took home individual medal honors on the weekend, joining Vanderbilt's Justin Augenstein in carding a tournament-low six-under 64 in the third round. The No. 14 golfer in the nation shot eight-under 202 (70+68+64) on the par-70 6701 course to finish a stroke ahead of UNF's Phillip Knowles and South Florida's Claudio Correa, who both shot seven-under 203 to tie for second.
"In the end, i'm proud of our guys, and know they will continue to improve in spring play," Blackburn concluded.
After completing competition in the Gator invitational for the eighth straight year, the Dolphins will hit the road next weekend for their fourth intra-state competition in as many weeks. JU will head northwest to Tallahassee, Fla. to compete in the Seminole Intercollegiate on Friday Feb. 23-Sunday, Feb. 25.