Castillo Finishes T-2, #13 Razorbacks 4th at Valspar

PALM CITY, Fla. – The 13th-ranked Arkansas men’s golf team was 7-under par in the final round of the Valspar Collegiate Invitational and moved up one spot to finish fourth with a 54-hole score of 843 (-9). Senior Razorback Christian Castillo was runner-up, his best performance of the season and his third career second-place finish.

Florida State, ranked 11th, won with a score of 833 (-19), followed by #3 Vanderbilt at 838 (-14) and #4 Arizona State at 842 (-10 ). The Razorbacks earned their seventh top-4 finish in eight events this season and did so this week by beating the likes of #1 North Carolina, #6 Alabama, #9 Texas Tech, #14 Oklahoma, #18 Texas, #23 Texas A&M, #25 Duke, #26 Ohio State and #36 Wake Forest. Despite the stellar field, Arkansas was one of just four teams to finish under par, betting fifth-place Oklahoma by nine strokes.

“I’m very proud of the team this week,” head coach Brad McMakin said. “It was a great effort by the entire lineup from top to bottom. I’m most proud that we finished strong and did so against an NCAA championship-caliber field. We’ve had some great results this year but left a couple of tournaments with a sour taste due to our final rounds. Christian played his best college tournament and carried us this week. The rounds by Christian and Thomas (Curry) today were instrumental in our finish.”

Arkansas opened the final round strong as Castillo eagled his first hole (hole 5) and Jacob Skov Olesen birdied his opening holes (holes 6 and 7). The team finished strong as well. Curry birdied his last two holes (holes 6 and 7) while Olesen and John Driscoll III each birdied their final hole (holes 5 and 6, respectively).

The Razorbacks tied Florida State by playing the par-5’s at -27 as Castillo led the field by playing the par-5’s at -11.

Castillo, playing his fourth event of the season and his second in the starting lineup, fired a 4-under-par 67 and finished the 54-hole event at -9 (67-70-67=204). After opening his final round with an eagle on the par-5, 5th, he quickly moved to 4-under with birdies on holes 7 and 10. He had two bogeys and two birdies over his next six holes before reeling off six pars to conclude his round. He tied Vandy’s Matthew Riedel, ranked 52nd nationally, with a 9-under-par total of 204, his best as a Razorback and tying his career best.

Florida State’s Luke Clanton, ranked 16rh nationally, won with 14-under-par score of 199 (65-68-66)

Curry tied for 51st, but he played a key role in the team’s success on Tuesday. Curry was 4-under, including an eagle on the par-5, 13th hole and birdies on his final two holes (6 and 7). He additionally had birdies on holes 10 and 15 while dropping shots on holes 17 and 18. Overall, he climbed 25 spots on the leaderboard to finish at +6 (73-73-67=219).

Jacob Skov Olesen continued his outstanding season. He fired an even-par 71 and tied for 15th with a 1-under total of 212 (68-73-71). In eight events this year, he has seven top-15 finishes, including a streak of seven straight among the top 15.

Driscoll tied for 25th (72-70-72=214 / +1) and Manuel Lozada tied for 57th (75-71-74=220 / +7).

Arkansas will close the regular season in Charlottesville, Va., at Virginia’s Lewis Chitengwa Memorial, April 8-9.

Valspar Collegiate Invitational
Host School: Houston
Mar. 25-26
Floridian National Golf Club || Palm City, Fla.
Par 71 || 7,114 yards

Final Team Results:
1  #11 Florida State 280-278-275=833 (-19)
2  #3 Vanderbilt 279-286-272=837 (-15)
3  #4 Arizona State 280-285-277=842 (-10)
4  #13 Arkansas 282-284-277=843 (-9)
5  #14 Oklahoma 281-286-285=852 (E)
6  #25 Duke 299-281-273=853 (+1)
7  #23 Texas A&M 290-283-282=855 (+3)
8  #1 North Carolina 280-289-287=856 (+4)
9  #36 Wake Forest 282-282-294=858 (+6)
T10 #6 Alabama 293-285-281=859 (+7)
T10 #18 Texas 288-293-278=859 (+7)
12 #9 Texas Tech 289-290-283=862 (+10)
13 #47 South Florida 292-287-284=863 (+11)
14 Houston 299-291-282=872 (+20)
15 #26 Ohio State 293-287-2299=879 (+27)
16 Lamar 290-307-297=894 (+42)

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