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Thursday April 24, 2014Gators Head to SEC Championship

St. Simons Island, Ga.

For the 14th consecutive year, the men’s golf SEC Championship will be played at Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course as competition kicks off tomorrow.


Florida wrapped up regular season play at the Old Waverly Collegiate at the beginning of the month, taking home a fourth place finish with two Gators claiming top-20 performances.


In 2011, the Orange and Blue took home the conference crown with a final team score of 848 (+8) to defeat Alabama by five strokes. Florida’s Andres Echavarria scored individual medalist honors that year, scoring the win in a playoff with LSU’s John Peterson. Echavarria shot 209 while two other Gators – Philip Choi and Bank Vongvanij – collected top-five finishes with a 210 and 211, respectively.


The Sea Island Golf Club is known as one of America’s premier golf clubs and was rated No. 1 in the U.S. among the “World’s 50 Best Golf Hotels” by Golf Digest Index. Since hosting of the SEC Men’s Golf Championship began at Sea Island in 2001, Georgia has won five of the 13 championships, Alabama has won three, Florida notched two and Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee have each collected one title.


Course Information: The Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club is a par-70, 6,898 yard course.


Tournament Information: The tournament will run from Friday, Apr. 25 to Sunday, Apr. 27 and is hosted by the Southeastern Conference.  


Format: 54-hole event where teams will play 18 holes each day.   


Tee Times:

Friday – 7:30 a.m.

Saturday – 7:30 a.m.

Sunday – 7:30 a.m.  


The Lineup:

·         Junior J.D. Tomlinson (Gainesville, Fla.) notched his third top-five of the year at Old Waverly earlier this month, carding rounds of 72-70-70 (-4) to take a shared spot for fifth. His performance was his second consecutive event under-par, tallying four this season.

·         Junior Eric Banks (Truro, Canada) shot even par (216) at Old Waverly to collect his fourth top-10 finish of the year. Banks fired a Gator-low 69 in round one followed by rounds of 73-74 to check in at T13.  

·         Freshman Ryan Orr (Belleair, Fla) heads into SEC play as the only freshman and one of just two Gators to have competed in every tournament this year. Orr is ranked third on the team in stroke average with a 74.73. At Old Waverly, Orr slipped into the top-30, finishing T28 after shooting 4-over (220).

·         Sophomore Richard Donegan (Okeechobee, Fla.) collected his first top-10 as a Gator at the Floridian back in March, firing back-to-back rounds of 69. At Old Waverly, Donegan shot 6-over (222) to bring his scoring average down to 74.39.

·         Freshman Victor Tarnstrom (Nykvarn, Sweden) looks to finish his freshman campaign on a strong note. Tarnstrom carded a 222 at Old Waverly after rounds of 75-74-73, his second best effort of the spring.  

Buddy’s Bite: “We’ve actually played a little better lately in the last tournament and also in practice this week and I’m optimistic we will go up there and have a good tournament. It’s the SEC, it’s a terrific venue with an unbelievable atmosphere and every kid in this tournament is going to be really excited to play.  I think one of the keys is to sit back and relax and play your own game. See where it takes you.”


On the lineup:

“Victor has played well lately in the qualifier, he was low. Eric has played extremely well and JD is always pretty solid. I feel pretty good about it.”


Eyeing the Competition: Eight of the 14 conference teams are ranked in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf Division I Coaches’ Poll including two-time defending league champion and overall No. 1 Alabama. The Crimson Tide have won six of the nine tournaments they have competed in this season.

The Field (Golf World/Nike Golf Division I Coaches’ Poll):

Alabama (1)

Arkansas (19)

Auburn (22)


Georgia (5)


LSU (22)

Mississippi State


Ole Miss

South Carolina (24)


Texas A&M (12)

Vanderbilt (14)



Follow the Gators: Play will begin tomorrow as the field tees off with round one at 7:30 a.m. Live scoring will be available on along with A complete recap with full results will be posted on following the day’s play.


For complete coverage of the Gators’ men’s golf program visit, follow @GatorZoneGolf on Twitter and ‘like’ the University of Florida Men’s Golf page on Facebook.



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