The UCF men’s golf team opened its season by taking the title at the Northern Intercollegiate at Rich Harvest Farms Sunday. Three Knights posted top-10 finishes at the 16-team event, led by senior Brad Schneider (Valrico, Fla.), who claimed co-medalist honors.
UCF is ranked 25th nationally in the Golfweek preseason poll, and finished play at 870 (+18), 10 shots ahead of second-place Tulsa (880, +28). Schneider was joined in the top-10 individually by sophomores Jose Joia (Lagoa, Portugal) and Ricardo Gouveia (Almancil, Portugal), who were both making their UCF debuts at the event.
“This was a great team effort,” UCF head coach Bryce Wallor said. “It was a long couple of days, but collectively everybody did a great job. It was a total-team effort.”
Schneider carded a 2-over 73 Sunday and finished the tournament at 212 (-1) to tie for first with Ball State’s Tyler Merkel. The individual title is the first of Schneider’s collegiate career. The senior has helped UCF to great success during his time in Orlando, highlighted by three Conference USA Championship titles.
“I am so excited for Brad,” Wallor said. “He is an absolute role model as a student-athlete. He is a great leader who works so hard. We are all very happy for him.”
Joia tied for sixth at 216 (+3). Gouveia, his former teammate at Lynn, was two shots back at 5-over 218. Making his collegiate debut, freshman McCabe Buege (Rogers, Minn.) contributed to the victory by tying for 44th (230, +17). Sophomore Greg Eason (Leicester City, England), the 2010-11 C-USA Freshman of the Year, competed in Illinois but was forced to withdraw due to injury.
After fog delayed the start of play yesterday, the teams concluded the second round Sunday morning before moving to the final 18 holes. The Knights were in first following the first round.
Indiana finished third at 36-over 888. Ball State and Virginia Tech tied for fourth at 889 (+37). No. 7 Illinois tied for sixth. The Knights posted a 295 (+11) on the final 18.
The event was the first of four fall tournaments for UCF. The victory was the sixth for the Knights since Wallor took the helm of the program prior to the 2009-10 campaign.
The Knights will return to action Sept. 19 when play begins at the Adams Cup of Newport in Rhode Island. UCF took the team title at the tournament a year ago, and Eason claimed medalist honors.