By Rai Masuda
With their coach’s last season nearing an end, the Flagler Saints golf team triumphed one more time, against the odds.
The only non-Div. I school in the field, the Saints were slightly disrespected when the leader board displayed “Flager” atop the standings, instead of “Flagler.” “It was almost like a little bulletin board material, especially since we had won last year,” admitted coach Don Robbins.
Robbins is resigning his coaching duties at the end of this season to focus on being a full-time professor at Flagler next fall.
The Saints began the tournament by firing a new Flagler record 7-under 281 that gave them a 14 shot lead with 18 holes to play. The 281 score broke the previous record of 283 that was set in 2003.
The team was able to capitalize on a record-breaking opening round and managed to successfully defend their North-South Intercollegiate title despite a late charge from runners up Bethune-Cookman College. The Wildcats closed the gap in the final round, but the Saints were able to hang on and preserve a two-stroke victory thanks to senior Brad Barfield’s clutch performance on the 18th hole.
“I just came off a bogey on the hole before and I kind of shot myself out of it individually, but I knew our team was still struggling,” Barfield said. “I just tried to put it together and make a birdie on the last and come through for the team.”
The senior sunk a difficult 30-foot putt to preserve the title.