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Senior Camilo Benedetti led the Gators to a second place finish in the 2002 SunTrust Gator Invite.

Sunday February 10, 2002Men's Golf Ties for Second at the Gator Invite

Gainesville, FL

Senior Camilo Benedetti led the Gators to a second place finish in the 2002 SunTrust Gator Invite.

After the first two rounds, Florida was looking to catch-up to Alabama-Birmingham to take the lead of the 25th annual SunTrust Gator Invitational. The No. 3 Gators caught the No. 19 Blazers in the final round, but the Tigers from Louisiana State jumped from the shadows to claim the team title Sunday at the UF Golf Course (par 70, 6,701 yards).

It is the first year that LSU has won the tournament since 1988, and only the eighth of 25 years that the Gators have not. The Tigers were tied for third after the first two rounds but fired a tight 280 to take a one stroke lead over UF, UAB and Purdue, all who finished in second place at 847. The Blazers did score their first individual medalist ever at the event in Graeme McDowell who opened the tournament with a 65, to finish 200 (-10).

Shooting a blistering 270 in the final round, Purdue jumped from eighth place to join the runner-up ranks. The Boilermakers had three golfers who posted under-par final rounds. The only other top-25 team in the field, No. 9 Ohio State was able to save itself after finishing the first day in last place. On Sunday, the Buckeys shot a 284 to finished tied for 13th at 890.

The Gators were led by senior Camilo Benedetti (Mendellin, Colombia) who is playing in his last home tournament of his collegiate career. Benedetti jumped from ninth place after posting a 66 in round three for a 206 total. Also finishing in the top-10, sophomore Camilo Villegas (Mendellin, Colombia) claimed seventh after shooting 68-68-71207.

"We had a few mistakes that hurt us," head coach Buddy Alexander said. "If there is anyone to blame for those mistakes it is me. These guys have an incredible amount of talent, but they are still a little inexperienced. Most of our guys are still playing in just their first couple tournaments of their careers. I know what it is like to be a Tiger and come in to Gainesville and pull out a win, and I know coach Jones is feeling very good about his win right now, and he should be."

The Gators will now travel to Ponte Vedra, Fla. to compete in the UNF Mercedes-Benz Collegiate hosted at the Sawgrass Country Club. Florida will be defending its 2001 title of the tournament, where it claimed its one-stroke victory over Augusta State.

 

Gator Invitational

Univ. of Florida G.C. Gainesville, FL

Dates: 02/09 - 02/10

Par: 70Yardage: 6701

School Scores

1 Louisiana State U. 289 277 280 846 +6

2 Purdue University 292 285 270 847 +7

Florida, U. of 282 283 282 847 +7

UAB 274 282 291 847 +7

5 Augusta State U. 291 275 282 848 +8

6 Georgia State Univ. 285 285 286 856 +16

Alabama, U. of 289 289 278 856 +16

8 Charleston, Coll. of 285 291 286 862 +22

9 Georgia Southern U. 287 289 288 864 +24

10 North Florida, U. of 295 283 292 870 +30

11 Florida State Univ. 289 291 296 876 +36

12 Kentucky, U. of 301 296 291 888 +48

13 Ohio State Univ. 313 293 284 890 +50

Central Florida, U. 298 298 294 890 +50

15 So. Florida, U. of 300 291 302 893 +53

Top 20 Players

1 Graeme McDowell UAB 65 67 68 200

2 Nathan Goulding LSU 69 67 68 204

Clint Provost Alabama 69 68 67 204

4 Oliver Wilson Augusta St 73 65 68 206

Camilo Benedetti Florida 69 71 66 206

Scott Jamieson Augusta St 70 65 71 206

7 Camilo Villegas Florida 68 68 71 207

8 Heath West LSU 74 67 68 209

9 Chris Mayson Purdue 72 68 71 211

10 Daniel Ozley UAB 68 71 73 212

Shiv Kapur Purdue 73 71 68 212

Matt Torrance N. Florida 68 70 74 212

13 Lee Williamson Purdue 74 73 66 213

Jan Are Larsen Alabama 72 73 68 213

Bruce McDonald Charleston 69 74 70 213

16 Jack Croyle Georgia St 72 71 71 214

Ari Savolainen Florida 73 72 69 214

Chad Goodwin UAB 70 72 72 214

Travis Mobley Ga. South 74 73 67 214

20 Kyle Bradley Charleston 73 77 65 215

D.J. Fiese Georgia St 72 71 72 215

Tyler McKeever Ga. South 72 69 74 215

Josh Goldstein Charleston 69 73 73 215

 

T 2 Florida, U. of 282 283 282 847

T 4 Camilo Benedetti 69 71 66 2067

Camilo Villegas 68 68 71 207

T 16 Ari Savolainen 73 72 69 214T 37

Robert Litsey 72 72 76 220

T 51 Dalton Melnyk 74 72 76 222

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