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Duke Butler IV leads the Gators after the opening round at the SEC Championships

Friday April 16, 2004No. 1 Men's Golf T4th After Day 1 At SEC Championships

Sea Island, Ga.

Duke Butler IV leads the Gators after the opening round at the SEC Championships

Junior Duke Butler IV (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) carded the second-best score of his career at Florida in guiding the No. 1 ranked Gators to a tie for fourth after the first round at the 2004 SEC Championships on Friday at the Seaside course at Sea Island Golf Club.

Florida enters the second round 14 strokes back of Georgia, which broke the tournament record for lowest first-round score with an 11-under 269. Alabama followed in second with a 280 (E) with Auburn third at 291 (+1) and the Gators and Tennessee tied for fourth at 283 (+3).

All five of Florida’s players ended the first round inside the top 30 as the Gators are looking for their eighth victory and 12th top-five finish of the season, both of which would tie school records.

"A combination of things happened today," Florida coach Buddy Alexander said. "We played poorly and Georgia probably played their best round of the year. If they had finished with an average day, we’d be pretty close. But there’s still a lot of golf left to be played. Our backs are against the wall a little bit and we’re going to have to play a good round tomorrow. Hopefully, we’ll come out with fire in our eyes for the second round."

Butler IV shot a first round 69 (-1) in posting his third even or under par score of the season to stand in a tie for seventh at the par 70, 6,898-yard course. It also marks the second time this season that Butler IV paced the Gators after the opening round – he also accomplished the feat at the Puerto Rico Classic in late February.

Senior Camilo Villegas (Medellin, Colombia) was one stroke behind Buter IV and in a tie for 10th at 70 (E). Villegas extended his streak of consecutive even or under par rounds to 10, which is the second longest stretch by a Gator since the 1986-87 season.

Sophomores Matt Every (Daytona Beach, Fla.) and Brett Stegmaier (Madison, Conn.) are tied for 20th after opening round scores of 72 (+2). Every had his stretch of 11 straight even or par rounds snapped, while Stegmaier, the defending SEC champion, is in the hunt for his fourth top-20 finish of the season.

Rounding out the Gators was freshman Jessie Mudd (Louisville, Ky.), who was one shot back of Every and Stegmaier in a tie for 29th at 73 (+3). With his score, Mudd had his consecutive streak of even or under par rounds end at six.

Day two of the SEC Championships begins Saturday morning with the second round. Tee times and live scoring can be found at www.secsports.com

TEAM STANDINGS

Place

Team

1st Round

Total

Over/Under Par

1.

Georgia

269

269

-11

2.

Alabama

280

280

E

3.

Auburn

281

281

+1

T4.

Florida

283

283

+3

T4.

Tennessee

283

283

+3

6.

Kentucky

287

287

+7

7.

South Carolina

294

294

+14

8.

Vanderbilt

295

295

+15

9.

Mississippi State

297

297

+17

10.

LSU

298

298

+18

11.

Arkansas

300

300

+20

12.

Ole Miss

302

302

+22

FLORIDA RESULTS

Place

Player

1st Round

Total

Over/Under Par

T7.

Duke Butler IV

69

69

-1

T10.

Camilo Villegas

70

70

E

T20.

Matt Every

72

72

+2

T20.

Brett Stegmaier

72

72

+2

T29.

Jessie Mudd

73

73

+3

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