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Toby Ragland is just four strokes off the pace at the NCAA East Regional.

Thursday May 17, 2007Men's Golf Charges Into Fifth In First Round Of NCAA East Regional

Alpharetta, GA

Toby Ragland is just four strokes off the pace at the NCAA East Regional.

The seventh-ranked University of Florida men’s golf team fired a two-over 290 in the first round of the NCAA East Regional on Thursday, finishing the day with sole possession of fifth place, just six strokes behind leader Georgia Tech. The top 10 teams at the event will advance to the NCAA Championships in Williamsburg, Va.

 

UF came charging out of the gate in the opening round, going as low as seven under as a team in the early stages of the afternoon. The Gators played the front nine at seven-under par as a team, with no player shooting worse than even on the front half.

 

“Nothing special one way or the other, but it felt great to get a solid round on the board to start the golf tournament,” Florida head coach Buddy Alexander said. “That’s something we hadn’t done in a while, and I was happy to see such a fast start to the round.”

 

Sophomore Toby Ragland (Jacksonville, Fla.) led the third-seeded Gators with a one-under 71 on Thursday, snapping a 14-round streak without a red number on the board. He birdied five holes on the day, including four in a three-under effort on the front nine. After a birdie on the par-five first hole, Ragland kept his score below par for the entire round. The performance will send him into Friday’s second round in a tie for eighth place, just four strokes off the pace.

 

“Toby’s been battling for the majority of the spring, but he played well for us today,” Alexander said. “He was calm and focused, and got himself off to a nice start. He ran into a little trouble of the back nine, but he didn’t let it rattle him and he still shot a good score.”

 

Freshman Tim McKenney (Scottsdale, Ariz.) fired an even-par 72 on the day, but his lightening-quick start set the tone for Florida’s solid first-round showing. In the first NCAA Tournament round of his career, McKenney eagled the first hole and birdied both No. 2 and No. 4 to jump out to a four-under 32 on the front nine. He recorded a quartet of bogeys on the back half, but finished the day with a share of 15th place.

 

Pars were the story of the day for sophomore Billy Horschel (Grant, Fla.), as the SEC Player of the Year hit the mark on 15 consecutive holes before carding bogeys on holes 16 and 17. Horschel finished strong, however, with a birdie on the 18th to finish his round in a 23rd-place tie with a one-over 73. Junior Manuel Villegas (Medellin, Colombia) chipped in with a two-over 74, birdying a pair of holes on the front nine, and classmate Tyler Brown (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) checked in with a six-over 78 in the first round. The duo will stand in a tie for 35th and a tie for 93rd, respectively, when second-round play begins on Friday.

 

“We’re a better team than we’ve shown for a lot of the spring, and I believe in the guys we have on the course right now,” Alexander said. “They are making a concerted effort to stay away from double bogeys or worse, and that was a reason for today’s steady round. I have faith in these guys to get the job done for us, and I believe they’ll do it.”

 

Georgia Tech’s Cameron Tringale grabbed the first-round lead with a five-under 67, leading the Yellow Jackets to an opening-round 284 (-4) and the team lead after 18 holes. Action will commence on Friday at 7 a.m. EST, with the Gators slated among the first five groups to hit the course. Scoring will be done live on the Internet at www.golfstat.com, and can also be accessed at www.gatorzone.com.

 

Team Scores Through Round One

Place

School

Score

1.

Georgia Tech

284 (-4)

2.

Georgia

286 (-2)

3.

Duke

288 (E)

4.

Georgia State

289 (+1)

5.

FLORIDA

390 (+2)

T6.

Auburn

293 (+5)

T6.

Clemson

293 (+5)

8.

Maryland

295 (+7)

9.

Charlotte

296 (+8)

10.

Penn State

297 (+9)

T11.

UCF

299 (+11)

T11.

Chattanooga

299 (+11)

T13.

Coastal Carolina

300 (+12)

T13.

Eastern Michigan

300 (+12)

T13.

Florida State

300 (+12)

T16.

UAB

303 (+15)

T16.

Jacksonville State

303 (+15)

18.

Virginia Tech

304 (+16)

19.

North Carolina

305 (+17)

T20.

Mississippi

309 (+21)

T20.

Longwood

309 (+21)

T20.

Louisiana-Lafayette

309 (+21)

23.

Old Dominion

314 (+26)

24.

Boston College

315 (+27)

25.

St. John’s

316 (+28)

T26.

Rhode Island

321 (+33)

T26.

Hartford

321 (+33)

 

Individual Top-10 Through Round One

Place

Player

Score

1.

Cameron Tringale (Georgia Tech)

67 (-5)

2.

Chesson Hadley (Georgia Tech)

68 (-4)

T3.

Chris Gold (Maryland)

69 (-3)

T3.

Clark Klaasen (Duke)

69 (-3)

T3.

Bryan Rozier (Jacksonville State)

69 (-3)

T6.

Keegan Bradley (St. John’s)

70 (-2)

T6.

Brendon Todd (Georgia)

70 (-2)

T8.

Jonathan Hodge (Chattanooga)

71 (-1)

T8.

Chris Kirk (Georgia)

71 (-1)

T8.

Patton Kizzire (Auburn)

71 (-1)

T8.

David May (Clemson)

71 (-1)

T8.

Derek Oakey (Georgia State)

71 (-1)

T8.

TOBY RAGLAND (FLORIDA)

71 (-1)

T8.

Tom Sherreard (Georgia State)

71 (-1)

 

Florida Results Through Round One

Place

Player

Score

T8.

Toby Ragland

71 (-1)

T15.

Tim McKenney

72 (E)

T23.

Billy Horschel

73 (+1)

T35.

Manuel Villegas

74 (+2)

T93.

Tyler Brown

78 (+6)

 

 

 

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