-By Cassie Stein
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – North Carolina picked up its season right where it left off - by winning.
The Tar Heels, ranked 12th by Golfweek, finished with a 33-over 873 total at TPC Sawgrass' Dye's Valley Course to win the Sea Best Invitational.
After rain and windy conditions during Monday's 36-hole day, Tuesday's conditions weren't much better. The Tar Heels' final-round, 9-over 289 was the second-best score of the day.
"It was definitely a battle out there," North Carolina head coach Andrew Sapp said. "The thing I'm most proud of is that it was a team win. … It's nice to have five guys who can battle and get a good team win."
Carter Jenkins, who transferred from North Carolina-Greensboro in January, paced the Tar Heels as he tied for seventh with freshman teammate Ben Griffin and three others. Freshman William Register and senior Brandon Dalinka also finished inside the top 15 to lead the Tar Heels to a seven-shot victory over runner-up Florida (880).
UNLV (882), North Florida (884) and Florida State (887) rounded out the top 5. The Seminoles entered the event ranked second by Golfweek.
North Carolina has now won three times during the 2014-15 season. The team won its own Tar Heel Invitational and the Bridgestone Golf Collegiate in the fall.
Jenkins has been a Tar Heel fan all his life, but when deciding on a university, the Tar Heels not his original choice. He chose UNCG and played three semesters for the Spartans. He was named Southern Conference Freshman of the Year in 2014 and accumulated seven top-10 finishes, including two victories.
"I did my year and a half at UNCG and decided I needed a change, so I got out of there," Jenkins said. "The only place I wanted to come was UNC because I knew they had a team that was trending in the right direction."
Jenkins, a sophomore, says his transition from Greensboro to Chapel Hill has been an easy one. He grew up approximately 20 minutes from campus and has known the players on the team for some time now.
"The transition has been great," Jenkins said. "Everyone is awesome - my teammates, coaches and professors. I'm happy to be playing for them. It's awesome."
Jenkins believes that the competition between he and his teammates will help the team achieve its goal of winning the NCAA Championship.
"If we just keep trying to beat each other (in practice) then we're going to be able to beat everybody else," he said. "Our freshman, Ben Griffin and Will Register, had spectacular falls, so I know if I practice and play to their standards, because they are two of the best players in the country, then that gives me so much confidence to compete with the best players and then beat them."
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