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Billy Horschel earned tied for first at the NCAA Regional for the second time in his career.

Saturday May 19, 2007Men's Golf Ties For Second At East Regional, Earns NCAA Championships Berth

Alpharetta, GA

Billy Horschel earned tied for first at the NCAA Regional for the second time in his career.

University of Florida sophomore Billy Horschel (Grant, Fla.) fired a final-round 68 (-4) on Saturday to tie for first place at the NCAA East Regional, leading the seventh-ranked Gators to a second-place tie and their seventh-consecutive bid to the NCAA Championships. UF’s total of 867 (+3) knotted it with Auburn and Georgia Tech for runner-up honors, and marked the team’s best score since posting an identical number at the Puerto Rico Classic in February.

 

“We came to this tournament looking to gain some confidence and build some momentum heading into the NCAA Championships, and we accomplished both of those things,” Florida head coach Buddy Alexander said. “We played good golf this weekend, and this is the time of year that you want to be able to do that. This is certainly a positive step for us as we begin to get ready for the NCAA tournament.”

 

Horschel, who battled back from a tie for 23rd after the first round with back-to-back scores in the 60s, earned a share of the individual medal at the NCAA Regionals for the second time in as many collegiate seasons. He tied Nevada’s Casey Watabu for the individual crown at the 2006 NCAA West Regional in Tucson, Ariz., before adding Saturday’s triumph to his resume. Individual medals from NCAA regional play account for two of Horschel’s three collegiate victories, while his other win came in October at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va. – the site of the 2007 NCAA Championships.

 

After starting the day three strokes over par courtesy of a bogey on No. 2 and a double on No. 3, Horschel birdied nine of his last 15 holes to charge up the leader board. Trailing playing partner Brendon Todd of Georgia by one stroke heading to the 18th tee, Horschel sunk a birdie on the final hole, tying for the individual lead after Todd made par. The Golf Club of Georgia’s back nine, widely considered to be a treacherous stretch of holes, is where Horschel made him move on Saturday, playing the back half at four-under par after making the turn at even. He finished the tournament with a total of 210 (-6), equaling his second-best score of the campaign.

 

Horschel opened the tournament with a one-over 73 before recording rounds of 69 and 68 in the second and third rounds, respectively, to move from a tie for 23rd to a deadlock for first. His performances on Friday and Saturday marked Horschel’s first consecutive rounds in the 60s this year, and raised his season total of such rounds to nine.

 

“Billy will be the first to tell you that he could have played better this spring, but he showed that he’s as capable as any golfer in the nation over the last two days of this tournament,” Alexander said. “He played with passion and was really enjoying himself out there today. It’s great to see Billy being Billy again, and that’s certainly what we need him to be as we enter the final stretch of the year.”

 

Freshman Tim McKenney (Scottsdale, Ariz.) narrowly missed earning his fourth-career top-20 finish, claiming a share of 27th after posting a four-over 76 in the final round. His total of 221 (+5) stood as his lowest since registering a 217 (+1) at the Chris Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational in March.

 

Juniors Tyler Brown (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) and Manuel Villegas (Medellin, Colombia) both finished in a tie for 32nd with totals of 222 (+6). Brown capped his tournament with a three-over 74, birdying a pair of holes on the day, while Villegas brought his weekend to a close with a 75 (+3) that featured five circled numbers on the card. Sophomore Toby Ragland (Jacksonville, Fla.) also shot a final-round 75 (+3), finishing in a tie for 50th place with a tally of 224 (+8).

 

“I’ve been saying for a while that we’re a better team than we’ve shown this spring, and people got to see a glimpse of that this weekend,” Alexander said. “Even though we haven’t had our good stuff recently, we’ve been plugging along and not getting down on ourselves. A group of five guys played solid golf for three rounds this weekend, and that’s what we’ve been looking for. We’re heading to a golf course in Virginia that we’re comfortable with, and that we’ve won at, and there’s a feeling of excitement on this team right now.”

 

Georgia fired a seven-under 281 as a team on Saturday to take the East Regional crown, finishing the event with a total of 855 (-9). The top 10 teams from the event will head to Williamsburg, Va., and Golden Horseshoe Golf Club to compete at the NCAA Championships from May 30-June 2 (Coastal Carolina defeated Clemson on the fourth playoff hole to earn the final qualifying spot from the East Regional). Scoring will be done live on the Internet at www.golfstat.com, and can also be accessed at www.gatorzone.com.  

 

 

 

Final Team Scores

Place

School

Score

1.

Georgia

286-288-281 = 855 (-9)

T2.

FLORIDA

290-285-292 = 867 (+3)

T2.

Auburn

293–284-290 = 867 (+3)

T2.

Georgia Tech

284-294-289 = 867 (+3)

5.

Florida State

300-292-281 = 873 (+9)

6.

Duke

288-293-293 = 874 (+10)

7.

Charlotte

296-291-288 = 875 (+11)

8.

North Carolina

305-286-286 = 877 (+13)

9.

Georgia State

289-304-287 = 880 (+16)

T10.

Coastal Carolina

300-290-294 = 884 (+20)*

T10.

Clemson

293-299-292 = 884 (+20)

12.

Virginia Tech

304-292-292 = 888 (+24)

13.

UCF

299-294-297 = 890 (+26)

14.

UAB

303-299-296 = 898 (+34)

15.

Eastern Michigan

300-309-290 = 899 (+35)

16.

Penn State

297-304-300 = 901 (+37)

17.

Mississippi

309-297-297 = 903 (+39)

18.

Jacksonville State

303-301-304 = 908 (+44)

19.

Chattanooga

299-306-305 = 910 (+46)

20.

Maryland

295-310-307 = 912 (+48)

21.

St. John’s

316-302-305 = 923 (+59)

22.

Old Dominion

314-301-311 = 926 (+62)

23.

Louisiana-Lafayette

309-319-309 = 937 (+73)

T24.

Rhode Island

321-309-310 = 940 (+76)

T24.

Hartford

321-315-304 = 940 (+76)

26.

Boston College

315-316-316 = 947 (+83)

27.

Longwood

309-327-315 = 951 (+87)

* - defeated Clemson on fourth playoff hole to advance to NCAA Championships

 

Individual Top-10

Place

Player

Score

T1.

Brendon Todd (Georgia)

70-69-71 = 210 (-6)

T1.

BILLY HORSCHEL (FLORIDA)

73-69-68 = 210 (-6)

T3.

Chris Kirk (Georgia)

71-71-69 = 211 (-5)

T3.

Kyle Stanley (Clemson)

73-71-67 = 211 (-5)

5.

Patton Kizzire (Auburn)

71-72-69 = 212 (-4)

6.

Glenn Northcutt (Auburn)

77-67-69 = 213 (-3)

7.

Chesson Hadley (Georgia Tech)

68-75-71 = 214 (-2)

T8.

Brian Harman (Georgia)

73-71-71 = 215 (-1)

T8.

Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina)

76-69-70 = 215 (-1)

T8.

Martin Ureta (North Carolina)

74-71-70 = 215 (-1)

T8.

Jonas Blixt (Florida State)

73-72-70 = 215 (-1)

T8.

Zach Sucher (UAB)

73-73-69 = 215 (-1)

 

Florida Results

Place

Player

Score

T1.

Billy Horschel

73-69-68 = 210 (-6)

T27.

Tim McKenney

72-73-76 = 221 (+5)

T32.

Tyler Brown

78-70-74 = 222 (+6)

T32.

Manuel Villegas

74-73-75 = 222 (+6)

T50.

Toby Ragland

71-78-75 = 224 (+8)

 

 

 

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