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North Florida’s Nick Gabrelcik is country’s top freshman – and it’s not close

During the faculty golf season, will verify in weekly to replace what’s taking place on the planet of school golf.

Already twice a winner in his first semester of school golf, North Florida freshman Nick Gabrelcik confronted his hardest problem but. Leading by a single shot after 36 holes of the Ospreys’ house occasion, The Hayt at Sawgrass Country Club, final March, Gabrelcik discovered himself grouped with two beginner standouts, Florida State’s John Pak and Clemson’s Turk Pettit, within the ultimate spherical.

Most fresh-faced collegians would’ve feared that sort of problem, however not Gabrelcik.

“I beat them the first two rounds, so why not just keep going?” Gabrelcik mentioned of his mindset. “There’s no reason to look at them like they’re going to beat me.”

They didn’t. Despite a triple bogey on the 13th gap, Gabrelcik rallied with three birdies in his final 4 holes to win by two and clip Pak and Pettit by three.

“If he doesn’t make a triple on the back nine,” added North Florida coach Scott Schroeder, “it would’ve been a runaway.”

What is shaping as much as be a rout, although, is the race for the Phil Mickelson Award, which matches to school golf’s freshman of the 12 months. In addition to his three particular person titles, which ties Texas A&M’s Sam Bennett for essentially the most in Division I, Gabrelcik has 4 different top-6 finishes in eight begins. That consists of Tuesday’s runner-up end on the Atlantic-Sun Championship.

After 4 bogeys on his opening 9 within the ultimate spherical at University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Gabrelcik appeared on his approach to a disappointing end. But identical to he did down the stretch at The Hayt, Gabrelcik clutched up and got here alive late with 4 birdies in his ultimate six holes. He almost jarred his strategy for eagle on the final earlier than lacking a 15-footer for birdie and developing a shot shy of Florida Gulf Coast’s Van Holmgren, who birdied every of his ultimate two holes.

“Watching that putt go in to beat me, that lights a fire under me to go win regionals now,” Gabrelcik mentioned.

A number of months in the past, Gabrelcik would not have anticipated to be chasing a fourth win so quickly. His preliminary purpose coming into his first 12 months at North Florida was simply to win one occasion. Admittedly, Gabrelcik, who began enjoying golf at age 8 due to his older brother, Donnie, and taught himself till his senior 12 months of highschool, wasn’t essentially the most completed junior.

“I was an average player in my book,” Gabrelcik mentioned. That is, till the summer season earlier than his junior 12 months at JW Mitchell High in Tampa, Florida, when he received the Florida State Match Play. The subsequent summer season he added a victory on the Florida Amateur Public Links, completed low beginner within the Florida State Open and was later named 2019 Florida State Golf Association Player of the Year.

Gabrelcik describes himself as an aggressive participant, saying, “I’m not afraid to hit the shots that a lot of people might not want to hit.” As he began to gather larger and higher trophies, his private expectations grew aggressively, as effectively. When he positioned fourth final fall at an beginner occasion on the Golf Club of Georgia, behind solely Wake Forest’s Alex Fitzpatrick, former Georgia Tech star Andy Ogletree and Florida State’s Vincent Norrman, and adopted with top-3 showings on the Florida State Amateur and New Year’s Invitational, Gabrelcik proved to himself and others that he may dangle with the most effective amateurs on the planet.

“That was the eye opener that he’s going to be competing at a really high level,” Schroeder mentioned.

But now Gabrelcik has confirmed he can beat them – and often. He’s at present ranked 57th within the World Amateur Golf Ranking and No. 2 in Golfstat, behind solely Pak. At one level this spring, Gabrelcik was No. 1 in school golf and is on a really quick checklist of Haskins Award contenders.

“It’s a different feeling because I was never a highly ranked world amateur player,” Gabrelcik mentioned. “When I go on and look that I was No. 1 at one point in Golfstat, it’s definitely a shellshock feeling just seeing my name that high up in the rankings.”

That feeling is rapidly sporting off, although. The new purpose: fifth and sixth wins.

“He hits it really well, great ball-striker, putts it really well, and just isn’t scared,” Schroeder said. “If he has some adversity, he bounces back from it really quickly. He does so much so well.

“In my 15 years I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a freshman have the year that he’s had.”



Snow day

Not even snow may cease Evansville from capturing its first Missouri Valley Conference ladies’s golf title.

After Northern Iowa rallied to tie the Purple Aces at 90 over by 54 holes at Bogey Hills in St. Charles, Missouri, Evansville received a one-hole staff playoff to earn the league’s automated bid into the postseason.

“When I met this team after becoming head coach, I could see that they were a confident group about succeeding in this event; not necessarily saying they would win, but confident about their ability to succeed,” mentioned Evansville head coach John Andrews, who took over for retired coach Jim Hamilton after final season. “I am so proud of this team and their effort throughout the tournament. … They played through awful conditions today but came out on top.”

Evansville, which hadn’t completed higher than seventh in its previous 10 journeys to convention, swept the convention trophies as senior Sophia Rohleder closed in 80 to win the person title by two photographs at 16 over.

“I remember Coach Hamilton telling me I could be the MVC champion prior to my junior year, but unfortunately it got canceled,” Rohleder mentioned. “That had me believing that anything was possible and winning the first two tournaments this season gave me a lot of confidence. But winning this as a team means so much more; it was unbelievable having our entire team up there receiving the trophy. Everyone worked so hard for this. … I thought this would be my last tournament, but it’s not.”

Conference Championship Central: 2021 schedule, results for men’s and women’s golf

Terrible timing

Augusta’s streak of 5 straight MEAC males’s titles got here to an finish on Tuesday in one of many worst doable methods.

The Jaguars, who had but to lose at convention since Augusta grew to become an affiliate member of the MEAC previous to the 2014-15 season, had been compelled to withdraw earlier than the championship even started after somebody inside the program examined optimistic for COVID-19.

“It is very unfortunate that we were not able to compete in the MEAC Championship this year,” Augusta head coach Jack O’Keefe instructed “To have our season end abruptly due to COVID is a huge disappointment. I feel bad for our student athletes as they do not get the opportunity to play for a conference championship and postseason. That is the world we live in today and this pandemic has affected everyone in some shape or form. We will learn from this and move forward.”

Florida A&M ended up successful the MEAC title and incomes the league’s automated bid into an NCAA regional.

College Golf Talk

In the most recent episode of College Golf Talk, Steve Burkowski and Brentley Romine recap a number of the convention championships which have already wrapped up, stay up for extra and additionally usher in Golfweek’s Lance Ringler for some bubble/rankings dialog as regional alternatives strategy.

Gaston out at Texas A&M

After two finishes exterior the top 10 within the SEC Championship, Texas A&M is now on the lookout for a brand new head ladies’s golf coach.

The Aggies’ director of athletics introduced on Tuesday that Andrea Gaston will not return as coach of this system.

“After a careful analysis of our women’s golf program, we determined that new leadership was necessary in order to achieve the desired results for Texas A&M golf,” Ross Bjork mentioned. “We wish Coach Gaston all the best, and a national search for a new head coach will begin immediately.”

Texas A&M is coming off an 11th-place end at convention. The Aggies had been 13th on the 2019 SEC Championship and did not qualify for an NCAA regional in every of Gaston’s two seasons after leaving USC, the place she led the Trojans to 3 NCAA Championships in 22 years.

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