Knights Ready to Defend the Throne, as Team Hosts Rio Pinar Invitational

March 17, 2012

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By Brandon Naidus

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Coming off a first-place finish at the USF Invitational, the No. 18 UCF men's golf team looks to continue its momentum in its home tournament, the Rio Pinar Invitational. The two-day tournament will commence with two rounds Monday starting at 8:15 a.m. and one round Tuesday starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Rio Pinar Country Club.

After serving as a co-host of the Iselworth Intercollegiate with Texas Tech in the fall, the Knights will be the lone host of this tournament. The teams participating are Akron, Campbell, Cleveland State, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, George Mason, Houston Baptist, Loyola, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Seton Hall, Stetson, Western Illinois and Wichita State.

Leading the charge for the Knights will be senior Brad Schneider (Valrico, Fla.). Schneider is coming off a third-place finish at the USF Invitational. His strong showing earned him his second Conference USA Golfer of the Week honor in as many weeks. This will mark Schneider's fourth appearance at the Rio Pinar Invitational. He finished as high as second back in 2010, with a 211 (-5). His performance earned him C-USA Golfer of the Week the next day.

Sophomores Ricardo Gouveia (Almancil, Portugal) and Jose Joia (Lagoa, Portugal) look to post another strong performance. Joia finished the USF Invitational tied for fifth, with a 214 (-2). His 65 (-7) in the first round of that tournament is the lowest round of any Knight on the season. Gouveia has not finished outside the top 15 in the Knights' three spring tournaments. After finishing tied for sixth at the squad's first spring tournament, he finished tied for 12th in each of the last two.

The Knights will be shooting for their fifth-consecutive title at the Rio Pinar Invitational. The squad won last year's tournament by five strokes, after firing a 841 (-23), a new tournament record.

The tournament is free and open to the public.