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Saturday May 17, 2003Men's Golf Finishes Third At NCAA East Regional

Gainesville, FL

The No. 5 University of Florida men’s golf team advanced to the 2003 NCAA Championships with a third place finish at the NCAA East Regional Saturday in Auburn, Ala. The Gators shot a 281 (-7) in the final round to finish at five-under-par with an 859 at the Auburn University Club.

The top-10 teams from the field of 27 and the top-two individuals that were not on advancing teams qualified for the national championships, May 27-30 at the Karsten Creek Golf Course in Stillwater, Okla. With their finish, the Gators will be making the program’s 44th appearance at the NCAA Championships and the 15th time in head coach Buddy Alexander’s 16 seasons at UF.

The top Gator finisher for the second time in as many tournaments was junior Camilo Villegas (Medellin, Colombia). Villegas, the Southeastern Conference’s Golfer of the Week for May 13, finished tied for 12th at 211 (-5). Villegas recorded his best score during the tournament’s final round, as he shot a 69 (-3).

UF’s other competitor to finish in the top-20 was freshman James Vargas (Miami, Fla.), as he finished tied for 18th at two-under (214). Like Villegas, Vargas also turned in his best round during the final day with a 70 (-2). Both Villegas and Vargas were the only two Gators to shoot in the red in two of three rounds in the tournament.

Fellow freshman Matt Every (Daytona Beach, Fla.) shot under-par for the first time in the tournament, as he registered a 71 (-1) to finish tied for 30th with a 217 (+1). Freshman Brett Stegmaier (Madison, Conn.) tied for 43rd with his three-round total of 220 (+4). The 2003 SEC individual champion, Stegmaier shook off consecutive rounds of shooting over-par to shoot a one-under 71 in the final round. Senior Jordan Code (Tampa, Fla.) completed his tournament with a tie for 47th with a 221 (+5), as he carded a 74 (+2) over the last 18-holes.

Clemson won the tournamen at –25 (839), while Georgia Tech came in second at 848 (-16). UF was the highest of five SEC schools to advance to the NCAA Championships, as Tennessee finished fourth, South Carolina tied for seventh, Vanderbilt took ninth and Auburn finished in 10th place.

TEAM RESULTS

1. Clemson 285-277-277=839 (-25)

2. Georgia Tech 281-286-281=848 (-16)

3. Florida 290-288-281=859 (-5)

4. Tennessee 281-291-291=863 (-1)

5. Duke 286-292-288=866 (+2)

6. Wake Forest 290-288-290=868 (+4)

T7. Augusta State 290-290-293=873 (+9)

T7. South Carolina 296-285-292=873 (+9)

9. Vanderbilt 293-289-293=875 (+11)

10. Auburn 292-290-295=877 (+13)

FLORIDA RESULTS

T12. Camilo Villegas 73-69-69=211 (-5)

T18. James Vargas 71-73-70=214 (-2)

T30. Matt Every 72-74-71=217 (+1)

T43. Brett Stegmaier 76-73-71=220 (+4)

T47. Jordan Code 74-73-74=221 (+5)

-UF-

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