FRANKLIN, TN (April 2, 2017) -- Down one at the start of the day, No. 5 Florida posted a 13-under final round on Sunday to reach 30-under and eek out a one-stroke victory at the Mason Rudolph Championship.
"It was some of the most clutch, gutsy golf that I've ever seen from a team. They played their best golf when they needed it the most and that's what we all strive to do when we're practicing and preparing for tournaments and they accomplished it today," Florida head coach J.C. Deacon said.
36-hole leader Alabama in search of head-to-head wins to become postseason eligible, tallied an 11-under final round to post 29-under but they had to settle for second place. The Crimson Tide saw four players finish inside the top-15 --Josh Sedeno (2nd; -9), Lee Hodges (T3; -8), Davis Riley (9th; -6), Jonathan Hardee (T12; -4)-- but it wasn't quite enough.
Playing at Vanderbilt Legends Club the Gators were boosted to their fifth win of the season thanks to a trio of 5-under 66's in the closing round from medalist winner Sam Horsfield, Gordon Neale (T3; -8) and Alejandro Tosti (T7; -7).
"We're just getting going," continued Deacon. "This is when this team wanted to shine, in the postseason, and this is what we're built for. This is a great step leading into the postseason, but our work is just beginning, so we've got a long way to go and hopefully a lot more numbers to add to the [five wins this season]."
Horsfield, a sophomore, began the round in a three-way tie for first before rallying to his second consecutive Mason Rudolph individual title. After 12-holes Horsfield was just 1-under for the round but with four birdies down the stretch on Nos. 12, 13, 17 and 18 he was able to snatch the victory late.
For Horsfield the victory was his fourth career individual title and first of the season.
"Sam is rounding back into form. This is the type of player he is and we need him to be like that. We were struggling a little bit early and he put the team on his shoulders," Deacon said.
Behind Horsfield in the medalist top-five were runner-up Sedeno at 9-under while Hodges, Joey Savoie (Middle Tennessee State), Neale and Theo Humphrey (Vanderbilt) shared third at 8-under.
The top-five of the team standings was rounded out by defending champion and host No. 3 Vanderbilt (-26) in third, No. 25 Duke (-12) finished fourth while Middle Tennessee State (-9) and Missouri (-9) shared fifth.
-Florida Athletics contributed to this story
View results for Mason Rudolph Championship Golf Tournament