Knights Open up Spring in Gainesville

Feb. 10, 2012

By Brandon Naidus

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Following a four-month hiatus, the No. 19 UCF men's golf team will commence its spring half of the season, when it heads to Gainesville to partake in the Gator Invitational.

The two-day event will have two rounds on Saturday and one on Sunday. The tournament, hosted by Florida, will be played at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.

Fourteen teams will participate in the tournament. Eight of the teams are in Golfweek's top 50, five of which are in the top 25. The field consists of No. 8 Arkansas, No. 2 Auburn, No. 20 Florida State, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Liberty, Memphis, Mississippi State, No.12 North Florida, South Alabama and UAB.

The Knights will look to start out their spring schedule like they started out the fall. With wins in their first two tournaments, the Northern Intercollegiate and Adams Cup at Newport, the Knights soared to sixth nationally.

The five players representing the Knights in Gainesville are senior Brad Schneider (Valrico, Fla.) and sophomores Greg Eason (Leicester City, England), Ricardo Gouveia (Almancil, Portugal), Jose Joia (Lagoa, Portugal) and Kyle Wilshire (Georgetown, Ky.).

Schneider helped propel the Knights to their first-place finish in the Northern Intercollegiate, by earning co-medalist honors. The strong showing was followed by him being named Conference USA Golfer of the Week.

The following week, Gouveia earned medalist honors at the Adams Cup at Newport, which helped the team win the tournament. The next week, he was named C-USA Golfer of the Week. Currently, Gouveia is ranked 40th in the nation individually.

Joia leads the Knights in top 10 finishes. He recorded three top 10 finishes in the team's four tournaments.

Eason looks to repeat his strong showing last spring, where he finished in the top 10 in each of the team's tournaments. Last year in Gainesville, he finished ninth and was subsequently named C-USA Golfer of the Week. That would be his first of three C-USA Golfer of the Week honors in the spring. The strong spring helped Eason earn C-USA Freshman of the Year honors.

This tournament will be Wilshire's fourth of the season. He will be making his first career appearance in the Gator Invitational.

Last year, the Gators won the tournament and the Knights took fifth place.