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Sunday September 20, 2009M. Golf Concludes Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational in Sixth Place

Olympia Fields, Ill.

 

The University of Florida men’s golf team concluded its first tournament of the 2009 fall season with a sixth place finish at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational. The Gators finished the weekend with a team total score of 878 (294-293-291, +38) after carding a 291 (+11) on Sunday.

 

“Overall I thought we had kind of a mediocre day,” said head coach Buddy Alexander. “Andres Echavarria played well for us late today, which allowed us to move up a bit at the end. Max Kieffer was a little nervous this morning having the lead and he got off to a rocky start. He did a nice job of battling back but then made bogeys on the last couple holes. Those two guys posted top-10 finishes, which is positive but we also have a couple guys who could have done a little bit better. Overall, I am a little disappointed that we couldn’t have moved up a little bit further on the leaderboard because we had the opportunity to. So we have some things to work on but we will get back at it and keep working to get better.”

 

The Gators faced a tough field in Illinois, competing against nine teams featured on Golfweek’s top-30. The 18th-ranked Gators finished ahead of No. 6 Illinois, No. 7 Georgia, No. 8 Augusta State and No. 16 Southern California. The tournament was very evenly matched, as only eight strokes separated Florida and winner Arizona State (870 -- 293-284-293, +30).

 

Andres Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia) improved his score with each round that he played this weekend, carding a four-over 74 on Friday, one-over 71 on Saturday and finished the event with his best performance, scoring a 68 (-2). Echavarria’s 54-hole score of 213 (+3) landed him in a tie for third place, the first top-five finish of his career. The redshirt junior tallied two birdies and two bogeys in his first nine holes and gained momentum heading into the final stretch, making birdies on holes 11 and 15.

 

After entering the final round tied for the lead, sophomore Max Kieffer (Dusseldorf, Germany) added seven strokes to his previous round, carding a six-over 76 on Sunday. However, due to his strong first two rounds, Kieffer managed to finish the weekend in a tie for eighth with a final score of 215 (70-69-76, +5), marking his first-career top-10 finish. He struggled in his first nine holes, entering the turn at six-over after tallying two double bogeys, three bogeys and a birdie. His two birdies and two bogeys on the back nine allowed him to keep his score at six-over.

 

Tyson Alexander (Gainesville, Fla.) matched his second-round score, carding a 76 (+6) on Sunday. The senior finished the weekend in a tie for 41st with a 54-hole total score of 226 (74-76-76, +16). Alexander began on a positive note, making a birdie on his first hole, but followed with back-to-back bogeys. A double bogey on the ninth hole and three bogeys on the back nine put him six-above par.

 

Senior Tim McKenney (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and junior Bank Vongvanij (Bradenton, Fla.) completed the Gators’ lineup, both tying for 45th place with a three-round total score of 227 (+17). McKenney had his best round of the tournament on Sunday, carding a 74 (+4). After making bogeys on his first three holes, McKenney rallied back to come within one of par, but could not hold on, falling back to two strokes above par.

 

After carding a seven-over 77 in his first two rounds, Vongvanij saved his best for last, scoring a 73 (+3) on Sunday. He was five-over following the 14th hole and rallied back to make a birdie on two of his final four holes.

 

The Gators resume action on Saturday, Oct. 3 at the Gary Koch Invitational in Tampa, Fla. Check www.GatorZone.com or www.golfstat.com for live scoring and official results.

 

Team Scores After Round 3

Place

School

Score

1

Arizona State

293-284-293=870 (+30)

2

Oklahoma State

295-288-289=872 (+32)

3

Texas

292-289-294=875 (+35)

4

Stanford

295-288-293=876 (+36)

5

Florida State

288-298-291=877 (+37)

6

FLORIDA

294-293-291=878 (+38)

7

Illinois

293-294-295=882 (+42)

T8

Southern California

295-290-298=883 (+43)

T8

Georgia

294-292-297=883 (+43)

10

Augusta State

298-299-298=895 (+55)

11

San Diego State

293-303-305=901 (+61)

12

Northwestern

286-314-303=904 (+64)

T13

Wake Forest

300-306-299=905 (+65)

T13

Indiana

302-299-304=905 (+65)

15

Purdue

302-311-309=922 (+82)

 

 Individual Top 10 Through Round 3

Place

Player (School)

Score

T1

Harris English (Georgia)

71-70-70=211 (E)

T1

Trent Whitekiller (Oklahoma State)

71-71-69=211 (E)

T3

Andres Echavarria (Florida)

74-71-68=213 (+3)

T3

Seath Lauer (Florida State)

68-71-74=213 (+3)

T3

Cody Gribble (Texas)

73-70-70=213 (+3)

T6

Steve Ziegler (Stanford)

72-71-71=214 (+4)

T6

Tristan Bierenbroodspot (Ariz. State)

71-69-74=214 (+4)

T8

Max Kieffer (Florida)

70-69-76=215 (+5)

T8

Scott Pinckney (Arizona State)

68-76-71=215 (+5)

T10

2 PLAYERS

216 (+6)

 

  Florida Results After Round 3

Place

Player

Score

T3

Andres Echavarria

74-71-68=213 (+3)

T8

Max Kieffer

70-69-76=215 (+5)

T41

Tyson Alexander

74-76-76=226 (+16)

T45

Tim McKenney

76-77-74=227 (+17)

T45

Bank Vongvanij

77-77-73=227 (+17)

 

 -UF-

 

 

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