Gator Locker Room
Gator Ticket Office

Men's Golf Headline

The UF golf team captured their 23rd Gator Invitational title on Sunday.

Sunday February 15, 2009Ragland leads UF to sixth-straight Gator Invitational title

Gainesville, Fla.

The UF golf team captured their 23rd Gator Invitational title on Sunday.

Senior Toby Ragland (Jacksonville, Fla.) sank a birdie putt on the seventh playoff hole to beat teammate Billy Horschel (Grant, Fla.) for the individual medal as the University of Florida men’s golf team won the 2009 SunTrust Gator Invitational by 18 strokes for their sixth-straight win at their home tournament. The Gators shot a final-round 279 (-1) at Mark Bostick Golf Course to finish at 16-under par 824 for the tournament.

 

“I’m happy for Toby and he certainly deserves it,” said head coach Buddy Alexander. “I’m equally proud of Billy. Both guys are seniors and they’re playing their last waltz here. It was pretty special what went on in that playoff.”

 

The story of the day was the two UF seniors who battled through seven playoff holes, before Ragland finally took home his first collegiate title with a birdie on the seventh hole. UCF’s Simon Ward joined the two Gators in the three-man playoff after all three finished 54-holes at five-under par 205. All three players made par on the first two playoff holes, but Ward was eliminated after Ragland and Horschel each made a birdie on the third playoff hole.

 

Ragland hit his approach on the par-five third within five feet of the pin to give him a good chance for birdie. Horschel sank a putt from the fringe for a birdie and Ragland made his putt to force a fourth playoff hole.

 

Both players made par on the fourth hole and Horschel sank another pressure putt on the fifth hole to stay alive. After making par on the par-three sixth hole, both players set themselves up with a birdie opportunity on the par-five seventh, and Ragland sank his putt from below the hole to put the pressure on Horschel once again. Horschel just missed the cup on his birdie attempt to clinch the win for Ragland.

 

“I hit my approach a little short of pin high,” said Ragland. “It was a tough putt because I knew it was going to go right, but it doesn’t look like it and I just trusted it.”

 

The playoff was the longest in Gator Invitational history and Ragland became the 11th Florida player to win the individual medal. It was the 23rd time the Orange and Blue have won the event since it started in 1978.

 

Although Ragland and Horschel stole the show, the rest of the team also performed well over the weekend. Five Gators finished in the individual top-10. Juniors Tim McKenney (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Tyson Alexander (Gainesville, Fla.) each shot one-under par 69 in the final round to finish in fifth and six, respectively.

 

Senior Will Strickler (Charlottesville, Va.) shot a 71 (+1) in the final round to complete the team’s third-round 279.

 

Playing as an individual, freshman Mu Hu (Shen Zhen, China) finished in a tie for ninth at one-under par 209 for the tournament. Redshirt sophomore Andres Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia) shot even-par (210) for the tournament to finish 14th and freshman Max Kieffer (Duesseldorf, Germany) tied for 22nd at three-over par 213. Echavarria and Kieffer played as individuals.

 

Ragland struggled down the stretch in the final round, carding a 72 (+2), but his performance on the first day was enough to propel him to the win. He shot an opening-round 68 (-2) on Saturday morning, and followed that with a collegiate-best round of 65 (-5) in the afternoon.

 

Horschel and Ragland enjoyed their best finishes of the season, while the Gators earned their second tournament victory in a row.

 

“They all played pretty well,” said Coach Alexander. “I’m proud of them and it is a great way to start the spring. They’re starting to believe in themselves and they can play with almost anybody.”

 

For complete tournament results, please visit www.GolfStatResults.com.

 

Up next for the Orange and Blue is a trip to San Juan, where they will play in the Puerto Rico Invitational Feb. 27-Mar. 1. The three-day event is hosted by Purdue at the Rio Mar Resort.

 

 

FINAL TEAM RESULTS

 

School

To Par

Rd 1

Rd 2

Rd 3

Total

1

FLORIDA

-16

269

276

279

824

2

Ole Miss

+2

274

281

287

842

3

UCF

+6

281

285

280

846

4

Florida State

+7

288

282

277

847

5

Duke University

+8

279

284

285

848

T6

Coastal Carolina

+10

279

286

285

850

T6

LSU

+10

285

288

277

850

8

Tennessee-Chattanooga

+11

280

288

283

851

9

North Florida

+16

285

284

287

856

10

Georgia State

+18

286

288

284

858

11

Mississippi St.

+26

290

287

289

866

12

Wake Forest Univ.

+27

288

292

287

867

13

Georgia Southern

+32

289

293

290

872

14

UAB

+39

292

296

291

879

 

INDIVIDUAL TOP-10

 

Player

School

To Par

Rd 1

Rd 2

Rd 3

Total

T1

Toby Ragland *

Florida

-5

68

65

72

205

T1

Billy Horschel

Florida

-5

65

70

70

205

T1

Simon Ward

UCF

-5

68

70

67

205

4

Derek Rende

Tennessee-Chattanooga

-4

69

68

69

206

5

Tim McKenney

Florida

-3

68

70

69

207

T6

Tyson Alexander

Florida

-2

68

71

69

208

T6

Sean Dale

Ole Miss

-2

67

70

71

208

T6

Jeff Dennis (10)

North Florida

-2

69

70

69

208

T9

Blayne Barber

UCF

-1

71

71

67

209

T9

Mu Hu (10) (ind.)

Florida

-1

71

66

72

209

T9

Drew Kittleson (10)

Florida State

-1

71

70

68

209

T9

Sam Lyons

Coastal Carolina

-1

66

70

73

209

T9

Sang Yi (10)

LSU

-1

67

75

67

209

 

* won in playoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FLORIDA RESULTS

 

Player

To Par

Rd 1

Rd 2

Rd 3

Total

T1  

Toby Ragland *

-5

68

65

72

205

T1  

Billy Horschel

-5

65

70

70

205

5  

Tim McKenney

-3

68

70

69

207

T6  

Tyson Alexander

-2

68

71

69

208

T35  

Will Strickler

6

71

74

71

216

T9  

Mu Hu (ind.)

-1

71

66

72

209

14  

Andres Echavarria (ind.)

E

71

69

70

210

T22  

Max Kieffer (ind.)

3

68

73

72

213

 

* won in playoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-UF-

Florida Athletics - A Championship Experience with Integrity - Vision Statement
  • University of Florida
  • NCAA
  • Sun Sports / Fox Sports Florida
  • IMG
  • SEC on ESPN

© 1998 - 2014 University Athletic Assoc., Inc., Sun Sports & IMG College. All Rights Reserved.