Gator Locker Room
Gator Ticket Office

Men's Golf Headline

0

Saturday May 16, 2009Horschel Leads Men's Golf to NCAA Regional Title

Austin, Texas

Senior Billy Horschel (Grant, Fla.) made five birdies on his way to a final round 68 (-3) to lead the University of Florida men’s golf team to a win in the NCAA Southwest Regional at the University of Texas Golf Club in Austin. The Gators came from behind on Saturday and finished with score of 874 (+22) for the tournament, beating Texas Tech by two strokes.

 

“It was a long day today and this win was a long time coming,” said head coach Buddy Alexander. “This was our first win outside of our home tournaments since the 2006 Fall Preview. This is a pretty big win for these kids.”

 

Bad weather conditions caused Florida to have its worst round of the tournament on Saturday, shooting 10-over par 294, but they managed to move up the leader board from third place to win the event and advance to the NCAA Championship, to be held May 27-30 at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. Texas Tech, Texas, Stanford and Michigan were the other four teams to advance from the Southwest Regional.

 

This is the fourth time that Florida has won their NCAA Regional, the last time coming in 2006 when they won the NCAA West Regional. UF has now qualified for the NCAA Championship 21 times in Coach Alexander’s 22 years in Gainesville. It is the ninth year in a row that the Gators have advanced to the Championship.

 

Horschel, the 2009 SEC Golfer of the Year, made a birdie on his first hole and never looked back. He got to four-under par for the day with back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th holes, but a bogey on 18 put him at three-under 68 for the day. He finished in second place at one-over par 214 for the three-day tournament. Horschel has an amazing eight top-10 finishes in 10 tournament appearances this season.

 

“Billy carried us today, which is what you expect from an All-American,” said Coach Alexander. “Tyson told me yesterday that he liked our chances because we had a mad Billy Horschel on our side after he shot 74 on Friday. That pretty much won us the tournament today.”

 

Junior Tyson Alexander (Gainesville, Fla.) was solid on the final day, shooting three-over 74. He totaled 217 (+4) for the tournament and tied for seventh, marking his third top-10 finish of the season.

 

Senior Toby Ragland (Jacksonville, Fla.) continued his consistent scoring, shooting 75 in the third round after a pair of 74’s on Thursday and Friday. He had a 54-hole total of 223 (+10), putting him in a tie for 23rd. Fellow senior Will Strickler (Charlottesville, Va.) had his worst round of the tournament, carding a six over 77. He also finished in a tie for 23rd at 10-over 223.

 

Junior Tim McKenney (Scottsdale, Ariz.) struggled to a seven-over par 78 in the third round, finishing in a tie for 31st at 225 (+12) for the tournament.

 

“It was an absolute mud bath out there,” said Coach Alexander. Play was suspended for two and a half hours during the middle of the round on Saturday. “There was a lot of wind for a while, but then it died down.

 

“I never felt too uncomfortable though, and we kind of took control on the back nine. We made some mistakes down the stretch, but we held on for the win.”

 

Texas’ Lance Lopez won the individual medal, finishing at four-under par 209. Lamar’s Hugues Joannes qualified as an individual for the NCAA Championship after tying for fourth place at three-over par 216.

 

The Gators will return home and have a week off before traveling to Toledo for the NCAA Championship. The four-day tournament will begin on Wednesday, May 27 and conclude Saturday, May 30.

 

 

TEAM RESULTS

 

School

Rd. 1

Rd. 2

Rd. 3

Total

To Par

1

FLORIDA

293

287

294

874

+22

2

Texas Tech

282

296

298

876

+24

3

Texas

291

285

301

877

+25

4

Stanford

294

299

294

887

+35

5

Michigan

301

295

292

888

+36

6

Lamar

296

298

297

891

+39

7

UNLV

296

289

307

892

+40

8

Texas-Arlington

308

290

295

893

+41

9

California

306

290

300

896

+44

10

Mississippi St.

305

297

299

901

+49

11

New Mexico St.

309

292

308

909

+57

12

Virginia Tech

302

306

302

910

+58

13

Jackson St.

335

315

342

992

+140

 

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS

1

Lance Lopez

Texas

68

69

72

209

-4

2

Billy Horschel

Florida

72

74

68

214

+1

3

Chris Ward

Texas Tech

71

73

71

215

+2

T4

Nils Floren

Texas Tech

70

73

73

216

+3

T4

Hugues Joannes

Lamar University

68

74

74

216

+3

T4

Dodge Kemmer

Stanford

76

70

70

216

+3

T7

Tyson Alexander

Florida

75

68

74

217

+4

T7

Travis Reid

New Mexico St.

72

70

75

217

+4

9

Eddie Olson

UNLV

72

69

77

218

+5

10

Eric Mina

California

74

71

74

219

+6

 

FLORIDA RESULTS

2

Billy Horschel

72

74

68

214

+1

T7

Tyson Alexander

75

68

74

217

+4

T23

Toby Ragland

74

74

75

223

+10

T23

Will Strickler

72

74

77

223

+10

T31

Tim McKenney

76

71

78

225

+12

 

 

QUOTES

Florida Head Coach Buddy Alexander (regional team champion)

On Florida's victory:

This is the biggest tournament that we've won in a while, and it feels good. They've all worked hard for this. It got a little muddy out there and we all had to slop through that, but we still managed to play well.

 

On the play of senior Billy Horschel:

Billy is the heart and soul of this team. He struggled a little bit on 14 yesterday, taking an eight on that hole. But we talked about that and like a champion, he came back and played a great round today. It was a big part of us winning today.

 

On gaining momentum heading into the NCAA Championships:

Hopefully, this will make us feel good about ourselves for a while. Golf is a strange game in that we play a lot on confidence. From a team standpoint, this should help. On an individual standpoint, they're going to have to be playing well in their own minds.

 

 

Florida senior Billy Horschel (carded a final-round 3-under-par 68 to finish second in individual standings)

On his final-round performance:

Staying patient was pretty key today. I've played in this kind of weather over in Ireland and Scotland, so I had a little experience to rely on. You just had to get the ball on the green today, so you didn't have to work too hard for a par. I played well, hit the ball well, putted well and had some nice up-and-downs. It was a real good day.

 

On Florida's victory:

This is unbelievable. We haven't won a tournament away from our home course or something that we've hosted since 2006. When we came out here, I told the guys, `let's all be on the same page. We're here to win.'

 

 

-UF-

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

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