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Tuesday September 23, 2003Men's Golf Ties For Third At NCAA Preview

Hot Springs, Va.

At the same course where the NCAA Championships will be held next spring, the No. 3 Florida menís golf team tied with defending national champion Clemson for third at the NCAA Preview by Ping and Golfweek on Tuesday at Cascades Course at the Homestead Resort.

UCLA won the tournament with rounds of 294-278 = 572 (+12) at the par 70, 6,679-yard course. Georgia Tech passed the Gators late in the day to finish second at 573 (+13), while Clemson and Florida were both just three shots behind the Bruins at 575. The Gatorsí finish at the Preview was the best since Florida placed second in 1989. The tournament featured the top 11 teams in the Golfweekís preseason top 30 rankings, while 14 of the 15 teams in the field appeared in the rankings.

"We hung in there and battled back on the last few holes to finish where we did," coach Buddy Alexander said. "The weather was much improved from yesterday and that was reflected in the scores. I think the final standings really show which teams were the class of the tournament."

John Poucher of UCLA earned medalist honors by shooting a final round 68 and finished with a two-under-par 138.

Senior Camilo Villegas (Medellin, Colombia) and freshman Jessie Mudd (Louisville, Ky.) paced the Gators by tying for 12th. For Villegas, it was the seventh consecutive tournament heís finished in the top 20 dating back to last season. He carded a two-over 72 on Tuesday to finish at +3 for the tournament after shooting a 71 on Monday.

Mudd, who picked up his second straight top-15 finish to start his career, shot a final round 69, which included five birdies. The round also stands as his best yet as a Gator as Mudd finished the tournament at three-over 74-69 = 143.

Sophomore James Vargas (Miami, Fla.) capped the tournament by matching his career best by shooting a final round of 68 (-2) to end the day tied for 17th with a two-day total of 144 after carding a 76 on Monday. The top-20 finish was the fourth for Vargas in his last five tournaments dating back to last season.

Sophomore Brett Stegmaier (Madison, Conn.) was the fourth-highest Florida finisher as he tied for 28th after shooting a four-over 74 on Tuesday. For the tournament, he was six-over 72-74 = 146.

Sophomore Matt Every (Daytona Beach, Fla.) rounded up the field of Gators by ending up at +9 after recording a final round 74 to tie for 42nd at 149.

Florida returns to the links on Oct. 3-5 at the Carpet Capital Collegiate at The Farm in Dalton, Ga.

TEAM STANDINGS

Place

Team

1st Round

2nd Round

Total

Over/Under Par

1.

UCLA

294

278

572

+12

2.

Georgia Tech

297

276

573

+13

T3.

Florida

292

283

575

+15

T3.

Clemson

287

288

575

+15

5.

Georgia

294

283

577

+17

6.

Augusta State

290

288

578

+18

T7.

UNLV

304

278

582

+22

T7.

Wake Forest

292

290

582

+22

T7.

North Carolina

291

291

582

+22

10.

Arizona State

298

292

590

+30

11.

Oklahoma State

296

295

591

+31

12.

Texas

296

296

592

+32

13.

Arizona

293

302

595

+35

14.

Auburn

306

296

602

+42

15.

Virginia Tech

308

302

610

+50

FLORIDA RESULTS

Place

Player

1st Round

2nd Round

Total

Over/Under Par

T12.

Camilo Villegas

71

72

143

+3

T12.

Jessie Mudd

74

69

143

+3

T17.

James Vargas

76

68

144

+4

T28.

Brett Stegmaier

72

74

146

+6

T42.

Matt Every

75

74

149

+9

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