No. 21 Knights Claim Another Title at Rio Pinar

Feb. 24, 2009

Final Results in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - It was a winning day all-around for the No. 21 UCF men's golf team as freshman Blayne Barber (Lake City, Fla.) captured individual medalist honors and the Knights won the overall team title Tuesday at the Rio Pinar Invitational at the 6,978-yard par-72 Rio Pinar Country Club.

UCF's team total of 851 comfortably out-paced second place UT-Arlington's 865 and topped all 21 competing teams in the three-round event. Louisville rounded out the top three with a score of 870.

Barber finished his three rounds of action on Tuesday with a 3-under 69 to finish with a 204 (71-64-69) and win the event by two strokes over Bobby Massa of Texas-Arlington. Competing as an individual, sophomore Jed Dirksen (Hampton, Iowa) was third overall with a 211 (73-68-70) while senior David Johnson (Palm Bay, Fla.) tied for fourth with a three-round 212 (74-70-68) giving the Knights three of the top-five individual finishers in a field of 108 golfers.

"Our guys really stepped up the last two rounds. I am really proud of them," UCF head coach Nick Clinard said. "We were behind the eight ball after the first round, but really played well after that. Blayne played great. He works his tail off and really deserves this. He comes from a great junior background and now gets his first college win as a freshman."

It marks the second year in a row for UCF winning the event and the third time in five years (also 2005 and 2008) that UCF has won the Rio Pinar Invitational. The same can be said of the Knights producing the tournament's individual medalist as Greg Forest and Mike Stern shared the title in 2008 and Andreas Hoegberg won it in a playoff in 2005.

It nearly marked the second-consecutive week for UCF having an individual medalist. Junior Simon Ward (County Monagahn, Ireland) tied for first last weekend at the SunTrust Gator Invitational, but lost in a playoff.

Ward had another strong showing at Rio Pinar, placing third for UCF, and 11th overall, with a 217 (73-72-72). Redshirt freshman Brad Schneider (Valrico, Fla.) tied for 18th place overall with a 218 (76-71-71) and junior Nico Donaldson (Windermere, Fla.) was UCF's final finisher with a 225 (77-73-75) which placed him 58th.

The Knights now have a month off before returning to action March 29-31 when they travel to Awendaw, S.C. for the Hootie at Bulls Bay.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Final Team Leaders
1. UCF 294-277-280=851 (-13)
2. UT-Arlington 290-287-288=865 (+1)
3. Louisville 283-292-295=870 (+6)
4. Augusta State 293-288-290=871 (+7)
Vanderbilt 287-290-294=871 (+7)
Ole Miss 291-293-287=871 (+7)

Final UCF Individuals
1. Blayne Barber 71-64-69=204 (-12)
3. Jed Dirksen 73-68-70=211 (-5)
4. David Johnson 74-70-68=212 (-4)
T11. Simon Ward 73-72-72=217 (+1)
T18. Brad Schneider 76-71-71=218 (+2)
T58. Nico Donaldson 77-73-75=225 (+9)