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Friday September 12, 2008No. 6/7 Gators open 2008-09 season at Carpet Capital Collegiate

Dalton, Ga.

The 2008-09 season got off to a slow start for the Gators in the first round of the Carpet Capital Collegiate in Dalton, Ga. Florida sits in 17th place after a first round 304 (+16). Senior Toby Ragland (Jacksonville , Fla.) was the top finisher for UF in 22nd place after a one-over par 73.

 

“I’m in shock right now,” head coach Buddy Alexander said. “We have been practicing really well at home and I thought we were ready to play.”

 

Ragland was first into the clubhouse for the Gators, carding a one-over par 73. Ragland swapped a couple of birdies and bogeys on the first nine holes and made the turn at even-par. On the back nine, Ragland had a double-bogey on 13 and a bogey on 14 to push his score to two-over. He picked up two strokes with birdies on 15 and 18. He is tied with six other players in 22nd place at one-over.

 

Senior Billy Horschel (Grant, Fla.), junior Tyson Alexander (Gainesville, Fla.) and redshirt sophomore Andres Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia) shot matching 77’s (+5). There are 11 players in a tie for 64th at five-over. Horschel had two birdies on the back nine but couldn’t make up for his troubles on the front nine. Alexander had three birdies on the day but was set back by three bogeys and two double-bogeys. Echavarria had 13 pars on the day but his round didn't include any birdies.

 

Senior Will Strickler (Charlottesville, Va.) shot seven-over par 79 in the first round and is tied for 83rd.

 

“We still have two more days,” Coach Alexander said. “Hopefully we can turn things around.”

 

No. 14/18 East Tennessee State is on top of the leaderboard after day one shooting a 287 (-1). The individual leader is UCF’s Blayne Barber who shot an opening-round 68 (-4).

 

Second round play will begin tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. for the Gators. The final round will be played on Sunday. Complete results and live scoring are available online at Golfstat.com.

 

This is the 19th appearance for Florida in the Carpet Capital Collegiate. This is the eighth year in a row that the Gators have made the trip to north Georgia. UF has won the event twice, in 1989 and 2003, and placed in the top-five 11 times. Last year, the Gators finished in 12th place. In 2006, Florida finished in a tie for fifth-place.

 

Florida Results

T22. Toby Ragland, 73 (+1)

T64. Tyson Alexander, 77 (+5)

T64. Andres Echavarria, 77 (+5)

T64. Billy Horschel, 77 (+5)

T83. Will Strickler, 79 (+7)

 

-UF-

 

 

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