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Sunday March 23, 2008No. 9 Men's Golf In Third-Place Tie At Hootie At Bulls Bay

CHARLESTON, S.C.

The ninth-ranked University of Florida men’s golf team rebounded from a slow start to a tie for third place following a first-round 1-over 285 at the Hootie At Bulls Bay Invitational on Easter Sunday.

The Gators share third place with Clemson, who also posted a 1-over score of 285 at the par-71 Bulls Bay Golf Club. UF is just one shot back of second place held by Augusta State at even-par. South Carolina carded a 4-under 280 and had three players with rounds that scored in the individual top 10 to claim a four-shot lead through 18 holes.

 

Florida played its final nine holes at 4-under in the four scores it counted. All five Gator players combined for 11 birdies on each of their respective back-nine scorecards.

“We had a nice little rally there today,” UF head coach Buddy Alexander said. “I was happy with our poise and patience. We have struggled with that in the past when we get off to a slow start, but today we didn’t. We kept our composure. They did a nice job with that, and it is a tribute to them to rally after the poor start.”

 

Senior Tyler Brown (Jacksonville, Fla.) is aiming for his third top-10 finish of the spring. Brown displayed his leadership with yet another round under par thanks to his 1-under 70 on Sunday. He sits in a tie for seventh place with seven other players. Lamar’s Justin Harding is the clubhouse leader following a 4-under 67.

Brown played his first five holes at 2-over par before knocking down his first birdie on the par-5 sixth hole. He closed his front nine at 1-over 37 and later birdied three of his last four holes for a 2-under back nine.

 

Sophomore Tyson Alexander (Gainesville, Fla.) is within four strokes of the lead following an even-par 71. Alexander counted four birdies on the day, including back-to-back red figures at the par-4 16th and the par-3 17th.

Both senior Manuel Villegas (Medellin, Colombia) and junior Billy Horschel (Grant, Fla.) opened with a pair of 1-over 72s and are in a 22nd-place tie. Villegas shrugged off a double bogey on the par-4 fourth with a 1-under 34 on his back nine.

 

Horschel began his round with bogeys in three of his first four holes, but he gained momentum by dropping birdies on the par-5 sixth and the par-4 eighth. Two consecutive birdies on holes 12 and 13 moved Horschel to 1-under where he remained heading to the par-3 17th. However, the senior suffered a tough break when he had to take an unplayable lie that led to a double-bogey five.

Junior Toby Ragland (Jacksonville, Fla.) is in a tie for 34th following a 2-over 73. Ragland’s round was highlighted by a 1-under back nine that featured two straight birdies on holes 16 and 17.

The second round of the tournament gets underway at 9 a.m. ET Monday. Live scoring can be found at www.Golfstat.com.

Team Scores After Day 1

Place

School

Score

1.

South Carolina

280 (-4)

2.

Augusta State

284 (E)

T3.

Florida  

285 (+1)

T3.

Clemson

285 (+1)  

T5.

Auburn

286 (+2)  

T5.

Lamar

286 (+2)

7.

North Carolina State

288 (+4)  

T8.

Virginia Tech      

290 (+6)  

T8.

LSU

290 (+6)

T10.

Coll. of Charleston      

291 (+7)  

T10.

Wake Forest   

291 (+7)

T10.

UCF

291 (+7)

13.

Duke     

294 (+10)  

14.

Kentucky  

296 (+12)  

15.

Baylor    

306 (+22)

 

Individual Top 10 After Day 1

Place

Player (School)

Score

1.

Justin Harding (Lamar)  

67 (-4)   

T2.

Keith Guest (Augusta State)  

68 (-3)  

T2.

Webb Simpson (Wake Forest)  

68 (-3)   

T4.

Andrew Byrd (NC State)    

69 (-2)

T4.

Phillip Mollica (Clemson)   

69 (-2)

T4.

Mark Silvers (South Carolina)   

69 (-2)

T7.

Tyler Brown (Florida)    

70 (-1)

T7.

Mark Anderson (South Carolina)   

70 (-1)

T7.

Patrick Cunning (South Carolina)  

70 (-1)

T7.

Greg Forest (UCF)    

70 (-1)

T7.

Ben Fuqua (Kentucky)   

70 (-1)

 

Florida Day 1 Results

Place

Player

Score

T7.

Tyler Brown    

70 (-1)

T16.

Tyson Alexander   

71 (E)

T22.

Manuel Villegas    

72 (+1)

T22.

Billy Horschel     

72 (+1)

T34.

Toby Ragland    

73 (+2)

 

 

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