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Sunday September 14, 2008No. 6/7 Gators finish fifth at Carpet Capital Collegiate

Dalton, Ga.

Over the final two rounds, the Gators were four strokes better than the rest of the field and came from the bottom of the pack to finish 5th at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Sunday in Dalton, Ga.


“This was more of what we expected coming in,” said head coach Buddy Alexander. “I’m excited that we were able to come back and finish in the top-five after that awful start.”


Senior Billy Horschel (Grant, Fla.) and junior Tyson Alexander (Gainesville, Fla.) led the charge as both had scores in the red on Sunday. Horschel shot a 69 (-3) in the final round to end up with a total of 214 (-2) to finish in a tie for fourth, one shot out of second place. Alexander shot a two-under par 70 on the final day. His three-day total of 219 (+3) was good enough for a share of 26th place.


Senior Toby Ragland (Jacksonville, Fla.) was the second highest finisher for the Gators with a three-day total of 218 (+2). He shot a one-over par 73 in the final round.


“I’m really proud of our guys. They didn’t quit after our difficult start on Friday,” said Coach Alexander. “It shows that they have a little heart, and obviously a little talent too.”


Starting on the back nine, Horschel got off to another fast start, making his third eagle of the tournament on the par-five 12th hole. He added birdies on No. 16 and No. 18 to finish his first nine holes at four-under par. Two early bogeys on the front nine set him back but a birdie on the final hole moved him into a three-way tie for fourth place.


Tyson Alexander played his first 11 holes at four-under par, but two late bogeys prevented him from moving any farther up the leaderboard. His two-under par score was good enough to move him up 20 places on the final day into a tie for 26th.


Redshirt sophomore Andres Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia) had his best round of the tournament on Sunday, sinking three birdies on the day, and finishing at even par 72. His three-day total of 224 (+8) put him in a tie for 49th place.


Ragland continued his consistent play, mixing four birdies and five bogeys in his one-over par round. Senior Will Strickler (Charlottesville, Va.) carded a final round 74 (+2) to put his tournament total at 226 (+10), in a tie for 62nd place.


This was the 19th appearance for Florida at the Carpet Capital Collegiate. UF has won the event twice, in 1989 and 2003, and placed in the top-five 12 times. Last year, the Gators finished in 12th place. In 2006, Florida finished in a tie for fifth-place.


The Gators will return to action in two weeks at the PING/Golfweek Preview Invitational. This year’s Preview will be held at Inverness Country Club, the site of the 2009 NCAA Championships.


Florida Results

T4. Billy Horschel, 77-68-69=214 (-2)

T20. Toby Ragland, 73-72-73=218 (+2)

T26. Tyson Alexander, 77-72-70=219 (+3)

T49. Andres Echavarria, 77-75-72=224 (+8)

T62. Will Strickler, 79-73-74=226 (+10)


Team Results

1. Tennessee-Chattanooga, 291-283-290=864 (E)

2. Tennessee, 294-288-287=869 (+5)

3. South Carolina, 294-291-285=870 (+6)

4. Clemson, 291-287-294=872 (+8)

5. Florida, 304-285-284=873 (+9)

6. Alabama, 295-297-283=875 (+11)

7. Georgia, 299-286-291=876 (+12)

T8. Texas Tech, 298-293-286=877 (+13)

T8. Mississippi, 290-295-292=877 (+13)

10. Wake Forest, 296-290-293=879 (+15)

11. Georgia Tech, 299-295-286=880 (+16)

T12. East Tennessee St., 287-290-306=883 (+19)

T12. Auburn, 296-301-286=883 (+19)

14. UCF, 289-301-299=889 (+25)

T15. Mississippi St., 299-295-296=890 (+26)

T15. UAB, 299-289-302=890 (+26)

T15. Georgia State, 308-297-285=890 (+26)

18. North Carolina, 300-291-309=900 (+36)


Individual Top-10

1. Kyle Stanley, Clemson, 73-66-69=208 (-8)

T2. Jonathan Hodge, Tennessee-Chattanooga, 71-72-70=213 (-3)

T2. Allen Koon, South Carolina, 73-70-70=213 (-3)

T4. Billy Horschel, Florida, 77-68-69=214 (-2) 

T4. Stephan Jaeger, Tennessee-Chattanooga, 70-71-73-214 (-2) 

T4. Chris Paisley, Tennessee, 69-72-73=214 (-2)

T7. David Dragoo, Georgia Tech, 72-69-74=215 (-1) 

T7. Glenn Northcutt, Auburn, 69-76-70=215 (-1)

T7. Cameron Tringale, Georgia Tech, 75-73-67=215 (-1) 

T10. Blayne Barber, UCF, 68-75-73=216 (E)

T10. Carlos Sainz, Mississippi St., 73-72-71=216 (E)

T10. Matthew Swan, Alabama, 76-72-68=216 (E)


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