PENSACOLA, Fla. -- West Florida held its lead in the final round of the Argonaut Invitational on Tuesday at Pensacola Country Club to place first at 16-under par. The Argonauts had three players finish in the top five, and the tournament win was the third for the team this season.
UWF (285-280-283 - 848) ran away with the win, finishing 18 shots ahead of second place and No. 14 ranked North Alabama (278-296-292 - 866). The No. 12 Argos also topped two other nationally-ranked teams in No. 2 Lynn (290-291-290 - 871) and No. 22 Missouri-St. Louis (304-286-294 - 884). Midwestern State (286-282-300 - 868) placed third in the tournament, finishing two strokes behind North Alabama.
“It means a lot to come home and get a victory here at Pensacola Country Club,” UWF head coach Steve Fell said. “To win by 18 shots was impressive. Hopefully we can carry this over to the postseason.”
The top three for UWF included Esteban Castro in second, Talin Rajendranath in fourth and Juan Miguel Heredia in fifth.
Castro had the best score in Tuesday’s final round, carding 69 to finish 5-under (72-70-69 - 211) for the tournament. The score of 69 matched the best of his freshman season. Rajendranath finished a solid tournament performance with a 71 on Tuesday to finish one stroke behind Castro at 4-under (73-68-71 - 212). Heredia was one stroke behind Rajendranath for the tournament at 3-under par (71-69-73 - 213).
JR Schultz had the best round of his freshman season on Tuesday, carding 70 to finish the tournament tied for 13th at 1-over par (74-73-70 - 217). He edged teammate Gary Buffington III, who placed 16th at 2-over par (69-74-75 - 218).
The trio of Argonauts competing as individuals also put in solid performances on Tuesday. Freshman Joey Stills posted the best round of his college career, carding 71 to finish 29th at 7-over par (77-75-71 - 223). Kyle Lucas shot a 77 to finish 10-over (78-71-77 - 226), and Carlos Bown scored a 75 to finish 13-over (81-73-75 - 229).
Tuesday marked the end of the regular season for the Argonauts, as their next tournament will be the Gulf South Conference Championships on April 21-22 in Tunica, Miss. UWF will look win its 12th conference championship and third in the past four years.
“We’re back at Tunica National for the conference tournament,” Fell said. “We won there last year, and hopefully we can go back and defend our title. We’ll have our hands full with North Alabama, who finished second here this week. Hopefully we can come through.”