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Brett Stegmaier led the Gators by finishing in a tie for 20th

Friday June 4, 2004Men's Golf Ties For 6th At NCAAs; Stegmaier Ties For 20th

Hot Springs, Va.

Brett Stegmaier led the Gators by finishing in a tie for 20th

Sophomore Brett Stegmaier (Madison, Conn.) spearheaded a late Florida rally as the top-ranked Gators shaved eight strokes off their score on the last three holes en route to finishing in a tie for sixth at the 2004 NCAA Menís Golf Championships on Friday at The Homestead Resortís Cascades Golf Course.

Entering the final three holes of play, the Gators were 40 strokes over par, but led by an eagle and two birdies from Stegmaier, who tied for 20th place, Florida leaped past several teams in posting the programís 26th top-10 finish at NCAAs in 41 total appearances. Facing consistent rain and wind all day, the Gators carded a final round score of 294 (+14) to end the tournament at 1,152 (+32). California won the event by six strokes with a four-round score of 1,134 (+14), while UNLVís Ryan Moore claimed the individual title at 267 (-13) at the par 70, 6,679-yard course.

"We didnít have our best stuff," said Florida coach Buddy Alexander, who notched his 13th career top-10 finish at NCAAs. "We werenít very sharp and we kept shooting ourselves in the foot. Weíd do something pretty good and get a little momentum going and then the next thing you know weíd do something pretty bad. But we also won seven tournaments during the season, so from that standpoint, you have to say that we had a successful year."

For the first time since winning the SEC Championships last season, Stegmaier led the Gators at a tournament with a four-round score of 285 (+5) after a final round 69 (-1). His fourth-round score marked his 14th even or under par round this season, but it wasnít easy. Stegmaier was one-under through the first nine, but then bogeyed four straight holes on the back nine before rallying with an eagle on No. 16 and birdies on the final two holes. It was his fifth top-20 finish this season and an improvement of 32 spots from his NCAA finish last year.

"The whole week was pretty weird," Stegmaier said. "I tried to stay patient all week. That was my goal coming in and I definitely did that today, so Iím pretty proud of where I finished. To finish in the top 20 here is pretty solid. As a team, itís too bad we finished where we did. We thought we were the best team coming in and to not win is pretty disappointing."

Senior Camilo Villegas (Medellin, Colombia) suffered through a rough final day with a 78 (+8) to finish at 289 (+9) and in a tie for 30th. But he ended his collegiate career with more than 10 school records to his credit, including the most wins by any player since 1975 (8), the best career stroke average (71.21), best single season stroke average (70.77), which he achieved this season, and the best tournament score and individual round in UF history.

Taking a cue from Stegmaier, freshman Jessie Mudd (Louisville, Ky.) knocked off three strokes from his score on the final three holes by notching an eagle on the par 5 No. 16 and a birdie on No. 17 to end the day at 73 (+3). He finished in a tie for 30th with a four-round score of 289 (+9). Muddís season stroke average of 72.69 will go into the Florida history books as the third best scoring average by a freshman in school history.

Sophomore Matt Every (Daytona Beach, Fla.) concluded his season by finishing in a tie for 44th at 294 (+14). After shooting eight-over on the front nine, Every rebounded to card a two-under 33 to finish at 76 (+6) on the final day. Capping a stellar season at NCAAs, Everyís 2003-04 stroke average of 71.26 is the fifth best in school history.

Sophomore James Vargas (Miami, Fla.) improved 22 spots from his finish at NCAAs during his freshman season in tying for 56th. He was five-over after the first nine holes before regrouping to shoot one-over on the back nine to end the round at 76 (+6) at the tournament at 297 (+17).

The 2003-04 Florida Gators ended their season with seven victories, which is the second most by any team in school history. The Gators, who were ranked No. 1 for almost the entire season, also set a school record by finishing in the top five in 13 consecutive tournaments.

TEAM STANDINGS

Place

Team

1st Round

2nd Round

3rd Round

4th Round

Total

Over/Under Par

1.

California

279

289

287

279

1134

+14

2.

UCLA

289

283

275

293

1140

+20

3.

Arizona

292

281

283

292

1148

+28

4.

Texas

288

286

289

286

1149

+29

5.

Georgia Tech

289

285

287

290

1151

+31

T6.

Florida

285

289

284

294

1152

+32

T6.

Washington

289

282

285

296

1152

+32

8.

Kentucky

283

286

283

303

1155

+35

9.

BYU

280

290

291

295

1156

+36

10.

Pepperdine

295

276

289

300

1160

+40

T11.

Georgia

285

302

284

290

1161

+41

T11.

Georgia State

292

280

297

292

1161

+41

13.

Oklahoma State

292

289

289

294

1164

+44

14.

Texas A&M

291

292

284

300

1167

+47

15.

Penn State

289

290

290

300

1170

+50

T16.

USC

284

298

289

-

871

+31

T16.

Purdue

292

285

294

-

871

+31

18.

Clemson

285

290

297

-

872

+32

19.

New Mexico

291

291

294

-

876

+36

20.

TCU

281

292

304

-

877

+37

T21.

Arizona State

292

304

283

-

879

+39

T21.

Auburn

283

298

298

-

879

+39

T21.

Oklahoma

286

295

298

-

879

+39

24.

Kent State

294

288

299

-

881

+41

25.

Toledo

294

292

298

-

884

+44

26.

SMU

297

288

302

-

887

+47

27.

Wichita State

298

304

285

-

887

+47

28.

Vanderbilt

294

303

294

-

891

+51

29.

North Carolina

294

291

307

-

892

+52

30.

Rhode Island

299

311

302

-

912

+72

* Georgia won a three-way playoff to advance to the final round

TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS

Place

Player

1st Round

2nd Round

3rd Round

4th Round

Total

Over/Under Par

1.

R. Moore, UNLV

67

70

64

66

267

-13

T2.

B. Haas, WF

70

68

67

68

273

-7

T2.

C. Nallen, Arizona

69

67

67

70

273

-7

4.

M. Putnam, Pepp.

74

65

67

70

276

-4

5.

T. Johnson, UCLA

69

68

68

72

277

-3

T6.

J. Holmes, Kent.

71

69

67

72

279

-1

T6.

M. Leon, Penn St.

69

69

70

71

279

-1

T8.

J. Hartwick, Texas

70

68

72

71

281

+1

T8.

M. Wells, Kent.

68

68

68

77

281

+1

T10.

J. Easterling, WSU

72

74

66

70

282

+2

T10.

J. Hood, Cal.

65

71

77

69

282

+2

T10.

S. Kapur, Purdue

72

68

70

72

282

+2

T10.

R. Moon, UCLA

71

74

65

72

282

+2

T10.

P. Tomasulo, Cal.

72

73

70

67

282

+2

FLORIDA RESULTS

Place

Player

1st Round

2nd Round

3rd Round

4th Round

Total

Over/Under Par

T20.

Brett Stegmaier

71

74

71

69

285

+5

T30.

Camilo Villegas

72

72

67

78

289

+9

T30.

Jessie Mudd

69

73

74

73

289

+9

T44.

Matt Every

75

71

72

76

294

+14

T56.

James Vargas

73

73

75

76

297

+17

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