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Friday March 10, 2006No. 3 Men's Golf Eighth At the Southern Highlands Collegiate

Las Vegas, NV

No. 3 Florida completed the first round of the Southern Highlands Collegiate with a team score of 305 (+17) on Friday. The Gators finished the day in eighth place and trailer the leader, Georgia, by 10 strokes.

 

Seniors Brett Stegmaier (Madison, Conn.) and James Vargas (Miami, Fla.) led the team by carding identical scores of 74 (+2). Playing in cold and windy conditions, Vargas took the early lead by shooting a three-under-par 33 on the front-nine. He made birdies on the third, seventh and ninth holes, however, a double-bogey on the 15th hole and a triple bogey on the 18th put him five shots back of the leader Daniel Im of UCLA. Im carded a first-round total of 69 (-3). 

 

Stegmaier had a similar round, going even through the front-nine but double-bogeyed the 16th hole to finish two-over.

 

“We had a couple of train wrecks towards the end of the day.” Florida coach Buddy Alexander said. “We were playing really well through eight holes. These greens are fast and bent. We are not experienced in that area, so we had some experience to gain today.”

 

The lower half of the Gator lineup had an uncharacteristically tough day on the par-72, 7,510-yard course at the Southern Highlands. Senior Matt Every (Daytona Beach, Fla.) had three double-bogeys on the front-nine and finished the day with a 79 (+7). Freshman Billy Horschel (Grant, Fla.) also struggled and finished with a score of 78 (+6). Freshman Toby Ragland (Jacksonville, Fla.) rounded out the Gator lineup with an 83 (+11).

 

Florida has had limited success this season when trailing by more than seven strokes after the first round. However, the Gators managed to overcome a 12-stroke deficit during the Inverness Invitational in September to win the tournament. The conditions for Saturday’s second round may not work in the Gators’ favor for another comeback bid. Cold weather is expected to continue through the weekend with the possibility of light flurries.  

 

“It’s a pretty good challenge for us,” Alexander said. “When we play well early, we play well the whole tournament. When we get off to a bad start, like we did at Shoal Creek, we have not bounced back well. I like to think that our team can get a little tougher when the conditions are not good because everyone has to play in it.”

 

The Gators will tee-off starting at 11 a.m. (ET) on Saturday. The tournament will wrap up on Sunday with the final round. 

 

Team Results

T1

Georgia

  +7

295

T1

UNLV

  +7

295

3

Georgia Tech

  +9

297

4

Oklahoma State

  +11

299

5

Clemson

  +13

301

6

Texas A&M University

  +15

303

7

UCLA

  +16

304

8

Florida

  +17

305

9

Washington

  +21

309

10

Duke University

  +22

310

T11

Arizona State U.

  +23

311

T11

Texas

  +23

311

13

Wake Forest Univ.

  +26

314

14

New Mexico

  +28

316

15

Arizona

  +34

322

 

Florida Results

Place

Name

Score

Par

T11.

James Vargas

74

+2

T11.

Brett Stegmaier

74

+2

T42.

Billy Horschel

78

+6

T51.

Matt Every

79

+7

T74.

Toby Ragland

83

+11

 

 -UF-

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