If there was any doubt about the lofty No. 1 status of the Barry University golf team, it was dismissed Tuesday as easily as making a one-foot putt.
Barry overwhelming proved it deserves its No. 1 Division II national ranking by easily winning its own Buccaneer Invitational at Normandy Shores Golf Club. In doing so, Barry was led by the nation’s No. 1 Division II player, Adam Svensson, who won a school-record sixth tournament title of the season.
“I kind of look at this as a stepping-stone,” Svensson said, referring to the upcoming postseason that includes a conference tournament in two weeks, regionals and the national tournament.
Svensson thinks he and the team are ready to make a run.
Never miss a local story.
“Everything seemed to be working in this tournament,” said Svensson, a sophomore from Surrey, British Columbia, in Canada. That was most apparent Monday, when Svensson humiliated the course by shooting a 9-under-par 61.
When Tuesday’s final round of three was completed, Barry had an 831 total with Johnson & Wales in second 22 strokes back at 853 and Nova Southeastern another four shots back.
Svensson, with rounds of 69-61-70 for a 13-under 200 total, won the individual title by six strokes over teammate Nico Cavero, who finished at 206.
“This lets us know we’re doing well as a team,” Svensson said. With his 61 on Monday, Svensson had possibly his most memorable day as a golfer. Certainly, his most memorable final six holes as he concluded the round with six straight 3’s with a finish of birdie, par, birdie, eagle, par and eagle.
Svensson said Tuesday’s round was a bit more mentally difficult.
“It’s hard to play well after shooting a 61,” he said. “I was 2-over in the final round, but I stayed with it and got it back.”
Barry coach Jimmy Stobs said, “I’m absolutely proud of this team.”
And he’s somewhat happily amazed at the play of Svensson.
“He’s having a tremendous year,” Stobs said, “and that’s not just in Division II. That’s in all of college golf.”
Svensson ended up at Barry when a Division I offer fell through. Initially, Svensson was disappointed, but that quickly changed.
“I’m glad I’m here,” Svensson said. “Now I could not see myself representing any other school than Barry because of the respect they have given me.”
Barry is the defending national champion, and Stobs said, “We definitely have a target on us. The hardest thing to do in sports is to repeat.
“I feel like we’ve been among the teams to beat the last seven years, and we’re certainly in the mix again.”