Gator Sportshop
Gator Ticket Office

Men's Golf Headline

Gator Head Coach Buddy Alexander holds the SEC trophy with SEC individual champion Brett Stegmaier.

Sunday April 27, 2003Men's Golf Wins 2003 SEC Championship

Sea Island, GA

Gator Head Coach Buddy Alexander holds the SEC trophy with SEC individual champion Brett Stegmaier.

Anchored by a Southeastern Conference tournament-record performance by freshman Brett Stegmaier (Madison, Conn.), the University of Florida men's golf team won its first SEC title since 1999 Sunday with a 16-over-par 856. Stegmaier's three-round total of 203 (-7) was the lowest 54-hole score in SEC history, as he edged Georgia's Kevin Kisner by one stroke for the individual title at the Sea Island Golf Course in Sea Island, Ga.

Florida entered the day in fifth place and trailed by eight strokes to Georgia and Tennessee, but the Gators used even or under par rounds by all five golfers to total a 271 (-9) in the final 18 holes. Auburn finished in second at +22 (862) and Georgia finished third at 866 (+26).

"We had not put everything together so far this year," said Alexander, who won his seventh SEC title at Florida and ninth conference title overall. "We were lucky to be eight shots back going into the final round. It was an incredible round by our guys today."

The conference title was the 14th in the program's history, as Stegmaier's individual medalist honor was the 19th won by a Gator golfer. Stegmaier's win, coupled with former Gator Camilo Benedetti's individual title at the conference championship last season, marked the 10th time in UF history that two golfers won back-to-back titles. His final round 64 (-6) was the lowest 18-hole score of any Gator this season.

"It feels great to win this title," said Stegmaier, who joined Benedetti as the only two golfers in the program's history to win the SEC individual title as freshmen. "I'm more excited for us winning the title as a team than for me personally. We're a close group of guys and we really came together."

Senior Jordan Code (Tampa, Fla.) was the other Gator to finish in the top-10, as tied for 10th with a seven-over 217. After shooting a 74 (+4) in the second day, Code rebounded by firing a 70 (E) on Sunday. The finish was the highest ever for Code in a championship tournament.

Junior Camilo Villegas (Medellin, Colombia) and freshman Matt Every (Daytona Beach, Fla.) each tied for 19th with a pair of 218's (+8). Every turned in the lowest score of his career with a two-under 68 in the final 18-holes. After shooting a combined nine-over during the first two rounds, Villegas, a finalist for the 2003 Ben Hogan Award, shot 69 (-1) in the final round.

Rounding out the Gators' playing five was freshman James Vargas (Miami, Fla.), who finished tied for 24th at +11 (221). Vargas regrouped from two tough rounds to shoot an even-par 70 to move into the top-25 of the individual standings.

"Except for Brett, who had been playing well throughout the first two rounds, everyone else was a little discouraged, because they knew they could play better," Alexander added. "Some guys fold and give up, but these guys didn't and they played with a desire. That makes this win that much more gratifying. I'm really proud of these guys."

The men's golf team joined volleyball and men's and women's tennis as the four Gator teams to win SEC titles in the 2002-03 season.

SEC Championship Notes:

--The SEC championship is the first for Florida since the 1999 season.

--The championship marked the 14th SEC title in UF men's golf history.

--Brett Stegmaier's individual championship marked the 19th SEC individual medalist title in UF history.

--It marked the 10th time in the program's history that Gator golfers won back-to-back individual titles (Camilo Benedetti won the SEC individual title in 2002).

--The championship marked the seventh SEC title for Buddy Alexander at Florida and his ninth conference title overall (Alexander won two SEC crowns at LSU in 1986 & 1987).

--UF has now finished among the top-three in the team standings 30 times since 1965 (the most of any school in the SEC).

--Stegmaier became just the second golfer in UF history to win the SEC individual title as a freshman (Benedetti won it as a rookie in 1999).

--Stegmaier became the 26th different golfer to win medalist honors at UF since 1975

(combined, the 26 golfers have won a total of 56 individual titles).

--For the fourth time in the last five years, UF had at least two golfers win an individual title in the same season.

--The victory marked the fourth SEC title for Florida in the state of Georgia.

--The last time UF won the conference title in the state of Georgia was in 1973 when Gator great Gary Koch won the first of his two SEC individual titles.


1. FLORIDA 292-293-271 -- 856 (+16)

2. Auburn 291-293-278 -- 862 (+22)

3. Georgia 288-289-289 -- 866 (+26)

4. Tennessee 289-288-293 -- 870 (+30)

5. South Carolina 298-285-292 -- 875 (+35)

6. Alabama 293-292-294 -- 879 (+39)

7. Arkansas 299-291-291 -- 881 (+41)

8. Ole Miss 304-290-296 -- 890 (+50)

9. Kentucky 303-307-289 -- 899 (+59)

10. Vanderbilt 302-310-290 -- 902 (+62)

11. Mississippi State 313-303-298 -- 914 (+74)

12. LSU 315-309-293 -- 917 (+77)


1. Brett Stegmaier 67-72-64 -- 203 (-7)

T10. Jordan Code 73-74-70 -- 217 (+7)

T19. Camilo Villegas 76-73-69 -- 218 (+8)

T19. Matt Every 76-74-68 -- 218 (+8)

T24. James Vargas 76-75-70 -- 221 (+11)



Florida Athletics - A Championship Experience with Integrity - Vision Statement
  • University of Florida
  • NCAA
  • FOX Sports Sun / FOX Sports Florida
  • IMG
  • SEC Network

© 1998 - 2015 University Athletic Assoc., Inc., FOX Sports Sun & IMG College. All Rights Reserved.