Thursday April 18, 2013Men's Golf Seeking 16th Conference Title in School History
St. Simons Island, Ga.
St. Simons Island, Ga.
The University of Florida men’s golf team looks to capture its 16th SEC Championship in program history when they travel to St. Simons Island, Ga. for this year’s conference championship. The SEC Championship begins on Friday, April 19 and runs until Sunday, April 21 at the Sea Island Golf Club.
UF heads into the conference championship as the second seed. The teams were seeded based on their ranking in the latest Golfstat Relative Rankings. Defending champion and 2012 national runner-up Alabama is the top seed.
“It’s been a long spring,” head coach Buddy Alexander stated. “We’ve got our boy T.J. back from the Masters. We didn’t play with T.J. two weeks ago at the Gary Koch Invitational. No excuses, ready to go, it’s the postseason. It’s time to put it together. I honestly think we are going to play well down the stretch and here at the end of the year.”
The Gators’ lineup at the par-70, 6,883 yard course will comprise of seniors Tyler McCumber (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) and T.J. Vogel (Cooper City, Fla.), sophomores J.D. Tomlinson (Gainesville, Fla.) and Eric Banks (Truro, Canada), and freshman A.J. Crouch (Jacksonville, Fla.).
As Alexander previously stated, this marks Vogel’s first collegiate tournament since the Chris Schenkel Invitational, as he missed the Gary Koch Invitational due to his participation in the Masters. The team still finished in fourth place in its last tournament of the regular season without the 2012 Division I PING Second Team All-American.
“It’s such an awesome experience,” Alexander commented on Vogel’s time at the Masters. “It’s a dream come true for a young college player to play in the Masters, a great experience for him. Obviously, I am hoping he parlays that into some good play here in the postseason. It’s a memory and experience that he will never, ever forget.”
Florida has won 15 SEC Championships, second-most in conference history. The team last won the conference title in 2011 when the Gators took home three of the top-five spots individually. In last year’s edition, UF finished in third place. McCumber and Vogel each finished at three-under par to tie for third place.
“Tyler will be playing in his third SEC Championship there,” Alexander said. “T.J., J.D., and Eric will be playing in their second and A.J. will be in his first. They have played there before. My guys do know the golf course a little bit, but I think there are some other teams that have the same advantage. But for the most part, it is still going to come down to golf.”
Play will begin Friday morning in St. Simons Island. The Gators are paired with Alabama and Georgia, the third seed, for the first round. Their group will be the first to tee off at the Sea Island Golf Club. Crouch will be the first golfer from UF to start his round and he is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m.
Tournament Field (Golfstat Relative Rankings in Parentheses)
Mississippi State (25)
Ole Miss (75)
South Carolina (30)
Texas A&M (21)