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Senior Camilo Benedetti led the Gators in the final collegiate tournament of his career Saturday.

Saturday June 1, 2002Men's Golf Finishes NCAA Championships

Columbus, Ohio

Senior Camilo Benedetti led the Gators in the final collegiate tournament of his career Saturday.

The fairytale comeback ending that pushed the University of Florida men’s golf team to the 2001 team title did not repeat at the 2002 championships that concluded Saturday at the Ohio State Scarlet (par 70 – 7,141 yards). Adverse weather held on for one more day as fog delayed the groups from starting. The Gators finished tied for 11th place, carding a 16-over 1,152.

The 2002 Champions created a fairytale ending of their own. When a university cost-cutting plan threatened Minnesota’s men’s golf program the team and community banded together. When a three-shot deficit to perennial power Georgia Tech threatened to put a unsavory end to the team’s Cinderella season the Golden Gophers responded in similar fashion.

The Golden Gophers, No. 22 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Collegiate Rankings, closed with a 6-under 278 for a 1,134 team tally, four shots ahead of top-ranked Georgia Tech at the NCAA Division I Men’s Championship. No. 3 Clemson finished tied for third with Texas at 6 over par. Florida’s finish was the highest Southeastern Conference team finish of the tournament.

As whipping, unpredictable wind replaced incessant rain the Golden Gophers were the only team in the field to post rounds below par the last two days.

Georgia Tech junior Troy Matteson, who finished at 8-under 276 to win the individual title, closed with a 67 to edge TCU’s Adam Rubinson (69) by one shot. The No. 4 Gators posted only one golfer in the top-25. Senior Camilo Benedetti (Medellin, Colombia) finished his last collegiate round carding a 2-over 73 for a tournament total of even 284. The 2002 SEC Individual Champion, Benedetti tied for 23rd place and also tied for the best SEC individual finish.

With a total of three birdies for the day, 11 for the tournament, No. 2 ranked Camilo Villegas (Medellin, Colombia) also finished in the top 50, placing T46 with his 4-over 288 total. Not far behind the Ben Hogan Award finalist was junior transfer Ari Savolainen (Helsinki, Finland) who also collected 11 birdies for the week, whose 5-over 289 was good enough for T51.

Two long-time Gators new to the NCAA’s rounded out the UF lineup. Redshirt junior Dalton Melnyk (Jacksonville, Fla.) continued to climb the field finishing at T80 after carding 9-over 293. Junior Jordan Code (Tampa, Fla.) slipped to T117 after a final round 4-over gave him a 14-over 298.

NCAA Chamionships

May 29-June 1, 2002

Ohio Stat Scarlet

(Par 71 – 7,141 yards)

Final Results

Teams Standings

pl. Team Scores

1 Minnesota 284 289 283 278 1134 -2

2 Georgia Tech 277 286 290 285 1138 +2

3 Clemson 286 277 298 281 1142 +6

Texas 291 275 290 286 1142 +6

5 Augusta State 289 283 290 281 1143 +7

6 North Carolina State 286 281 292 285 1144 +8

7 Purdue 284 287 293 281 1145 +9

8 Pepperdine 284 288 286 288 1146 +10

9 Arizona 282 290 288 290 1150 +14

Tulsa 281 289 284 296 1150 +14

11. Florida 283 286 291 292 1152 +16

TCU 283 283 293 293 1152 +16

Washington 279 291 285 297 1152 +16

Florida Finishes

T23 Camilo Benedetti 70 68 73 73 284

T46 Camilo Villegas 70 72 74 72 288

T51 Ari Savolainen 69 72 74 74 289

T80 Dalton Melnyk 75 74 71 73 293

T117 Jordan Code 74 76 73 75 298

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