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PGA Tour member's Billy Horschel and Matt Every at Mark Bostick Golf Course

Thursday April 10, 2014From College to the Pros - Horschel and Every Bleed Orange and Blue

Gainesville, Fla.

PGA Tour member's Billy Horschel and Matt Every at Mark Bostick Golf Course

Well known on the PGA Tour, former Gators Billy Horschel and Matt Every know what it takes to win. From amateur status to professional status, both men have experienced success at all levels. College proved to be an important time in their lives, as for many, as these two still share a great bond with the Gator Nation.  

Horschel, a 2009 graduate of UF, is a three-time first-team All-American (2006, 2007, 2009) and a two-time SEC Player of the Year (2007, 2009). Horschel scored four individual medalist titles while donning the Orange and Blue, including the 2006 NCAA West Regional (203), the 2007 PING/Golfweek Preview Invitational (203) and NCAA East Regional (210) and the 2009 SEC Championship (206).

Turning pro right after graduation, Horschel competed in events on the Web.com Tour before playing 25 PGA Tour tournaments in 2011 and bringing in over half a million dollars.  His break-through moment came last April at the Zurich Classic, where he collected his first professional golf victory, finishing at 20-under (268). Horschel finished sixth in the FedEx cup standings last year and has earned one top-10 and five top-25 finishes already this season.

Every, a 2006 graduate from Florida’s business school, played one year of golf with Horschel in a Gator uniform. In his senior campaign, Every became the first golfer in school history to win the prestigious Ben Hogan Award as the nation’s top amateur golfer and is a three-time PING first-team All-American and first-team All-SEC selection (2004, 2005, 2006). Owning four individual medalist honors, Every won two events as a sophomore (Chris Schenkel and Gary Koch Invitational), and one event his junior and senior season (Mercedes Benz Collegiate and Inverness Invitational).

Professionally, Every  had his moment in the spotlight just a few weeks ago, taking home the 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational crown with a final score of 275 (-13). Every played on the Web.com Tour until 2011, but participated in 18 PGA Tour events in 2010. Over his PGA career, Every has collected 16 top-10’s and 23 top-25 finishes. This year, Every has five of those top-10’s and has made almost $2 million in winnings.

While the two former Gators have relished in the light of success, they know where their roots are. Horschel and Every frequently makes trips to Gainesville to get lessons from 27-year Gator head coach Buddy Alexander, who has been an outstanding mentor and friend to the golfers he has coached throughout his stint.

“Buddy has been awesome,” Horschel boasted.  “The greatest thing I love about Buddy is he’s just straight-forward; he doesn’t beat around the bush at all. He tells you the way it is and I like that. It doesn’t matter how good things or how bad things are going, I can always call coach and get some great advice, whether it be life advice or golf advice. He’s a book of knowledge in my mind and a second father figure to me. He’s a special guy in my life.”

Horschel visited the Gator squad when they competed at the Sea Best Invitational at TPC Stadium course in Ponte Vedra Beach back in February and also ventured to Gainesville to help mentor the team prior to the 2014 SunTrust Gator Invitational.

“He wants the best out of any player he has on his team,” commented Horschel. “Whether it means they get to the PGA Tour or whether they’re just successful in other parts of life. He is a great person and is by far the greatest golf coach that has ever lived, in my mind. I don’t think there’s anybody better. I don’t think there will be anybody better with the knowledge he has.”

Horschel and Every both feel that deep connection with Alexander and the Gator Nation. This year, those two along with other former Gator great, Chris DiMarco, returned to Gainesville for the 44th annual Gator Golf Day to interact with old friends and play some rounds on their old home course.

“I learned so much over the years from Buddy,” said Every. “He has so much knowledge about the game and I go back to him now when I’m running into tough times.”

Coaching the Gators to two National Championships and eight SEC titles, Alexander takes pride in molding good players into great players and has done it through class and determination to be the best.

“I take a lot of pride in all of my kids,” stated Alexander.  “I’ve had some very successful people come out of my program that are not playing professional golf and I take a lot pride in that as well. But, obviously I’m a golf coach so I pay very close attention to what my guys do after college, as a professional, and I do take a lot of pride in it.” 

Planting roots in Gainesville is known to stick with a man. They may have moved on to stardom, but Horschel and Every cling tight to their ties with Alexander and are a true example of what it means to bleed Orange and Blue.

Horschel and Every will represent the Gator Nation in the 2014 Masters and just as family does, Alexander will be right there cheering them on.

 

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