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Sunday April 6, 2008No. 8 UF Men's Golf Edges No. 11 Florida State By Three Strokes In 36-Hole Match


The eighth-ranked University of Florida men’s golf team fired a 30-under-par total of 546 to edge No. 11 Florida State by three strokes in a 36-hole match on Sunday at the Glen Arven Country Club.

The friendly match served as another competition for both teams to prepare for postseason tournament play. The Seminoles finished with a 36-hole total of 27-under 549. Both squads posted 12-under 276s in the morning round, but the Gators’ 18-under 270 in the afternoon session proved to be the difference.

Florida finished with a flurry of red numbers to record the come-from-behind finish highlighted by a pair of eagles at the 18th hole. Seven under-par rounds were posted by Gator players during the day, including three players who counted under-par rounds in both the morning and afternoon sessions.

“We played some pretty solid golf,” UF head coach Buddy Alexander said. “In 20 years at Florida, we have never played a (head-to-head) match. Anytime you face an opponent, you want to win. We battled out there all day and did not give up when we were down early, so I feel very positive from that standpoint. This is a nice way to go into the conference tournament.”

Junior Billy Horschel (Grant, Fla.) and senior Manuel Villegas (Medellin, Colombia) held the low cumulative scores of the event with 9-under 135s. Horschel shot a 6-under 66 in the morning and followed that score up with a 3-under 69 in the afternoon. Villegas opened with a 4-under 68 and finished with a 5-under 67.

The two bested Florida State’s Jonas Blixt by one shot. Blitz recorded the Seminoles’ low score at 8-under 136 with a 65 and a 71. Blixt’s 7-under 65 in the morning was the lowest round of anyone in the 12-player field.

Junior Will Strickler (Charlottesville, Va.) carded rounds of 70 and 68 to finish at 6-under 138. Strickler provided the shot of the day when he holed a 100-yard wedge from the fairway on the 18th hole. The sophomore had found the bunker two shots earlier and was forced to pitch out.

Senior Tyler Brown (Jacksonville, Fla.) tied for the low UF round of the day with a 6-under 66 in the afternoon. Brown, who finished at 5-under 139, opened with a 1-over 73 in the morning.

Both sophomore Tyson Alexander (Gainesville, Fla.) and junior Toby Ragland (Jacksonville, Fla.) concluded the 36-hole event at 1-over 145. Alexander and Ragland shot 72s in the first round and followed that up with 73s in the afternoon. Alexander provided UF’s second eagle of the day on the 18th hole.

The Gators will continue preparations for the Southeastern Conference Championship, which takes play April 18-20 at the Frederica Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga.

No. 8 Florida def. No. 11 Florida State Results
Sunday, April 6
Glen Arven Country Club
Thomasville, Ga.

Team Scores
1. Florida            276-270=546 (-30)
2. Florida State   276-273=549 (-27)

Florida Player Results
T1. Billy Horschel  66-69=135 (-9)
T1. Manuel Villegas 68-67=135 (-9)
4. Will Strickler  70-68=138 (-6)
T5. Tyler Brown  73-66=139 (-5)
T10. Tyson Alexander  72-63=145 (+1)
T10. Toby Ragland  72-73=145 (+1)

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