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Sunday February 19, 2006M. Golf Win The SunTrust Gator Invitational; Individual Title Decided On Playoff Hole

Gainesville, FL

The No. 5 Florida Menís Golf Team won the SunTrust Gator Invitational for the 20th time in the tournamentís 29-year history on Sunday at the University Golf Course. The Gators shot a three round score of 274-288-293= 855 (+15) for a six-shot win over second-place Tulsa. Sam Korbe of Tulsa defeated Florida senior Brett Stegmaier (Madison, Conn.) on a playoff hole to claim the individual medal.

 

Stegmaier entered Sundayís final round with a healthy five-shot lead over Tulsaís Nicolas Geyger and appeared to have a solid start to his final round. Stegmaier birdied the par-five No. 3 hole, but then bogeyed thee of the next four holes to make the turn three-over-par.

 

Meanwhile Korbe, who started the day nine-stroke off the lead, was mounting a charge up the leader board. He finished one-over on the front nine and birdied five of the final nine holes to finish with a 67 (-3).

 

With Korbe already in the clubhouse, Stegmaier had a chance to win the tournament outright with a par on No. 18. He hit his tee-shot far to the right and had to chip the ball back out on the fairway, costing him an extra shot. Stegmaier bogeyed the hole to force a playoff with Korbe.

 

On the first playoff hole, Korbe led-off with a solid 5-wood down the left side of the No. 1 fairway. Stegmaier followed with a similar shot, placing both 40 yards from the green. Stegmaierís second shot caught the rough, but was close enough to the hole to save par on two putts. Korbe placed his second shot only a few feet from the hole, but was unable to convert the birdie putt.

 

Korbe began the second playoff on the par-three No. 2 hole with a well placed iron shot less than 40-feet from the hole. Stegmaierís shot landed in a marsh area in front of the hole, leaving a difficult up-and-down chip. With his pants rolled up and one foot in the water, Stegmaier attempted to chip the ball back on the green, but his second shot was not high enough and rolled back into the tall grass. Korbe finished the hole nicely with two putts for the win.

 

ďItís tough because itís an individual sport and itís flat all about you,Ē Florida head coach Buddy Alexander said about the playoff. ďYour opponent doesnít do anything to take anything away from you or keep you from being successful. Itís particularly disappointing when you have a big lead. Iím sure he (Stegmaier) was feeling comfortable and fairly confident, but Korbe made an incredible run.Ē

The Gators also had a nice round from senior James Vargas (Miami, Fla.), who finished fourth after carded a third round score of 68 (-2). Freshman Billy Horschel (Grant, Fla.) earned his fourth top-10 finish with scores of 71-71-73 = 215 (+5). Senior Matt Every (Daytona Beach, Fla.) tied for 16-place with a three round total of 218 (+8). Freshman Toby Ragland (Jacksonville, Fla.) finished his first SunTrust Gator Invitational by carding scores of 72-76-76 = 224 (+14).

 

A trio of Gator individual players also had season-best scores this weekend. Sophomore Jessie Mudd (Louisville, Ky.) tied for 23 rd with a three round total of 220 (+10).Mudd had his lowest score this season and best finish since missing all of last year due to an injury. Sophomore Manuel Villegas (Medellin, Colombia) recorded a season-best score of 222 (+12) and finished tied for 29th.Senior Ryan Cochran (Paducah, Ky.) carded a third round total of 76 (+6) and finished tied for 67th-place.

 

ďIf you look at the scoreboard, I think the most important thing this weekend was to persevere,Ē Alexander said. ďThis is a tough little golf course. Itís not long (6,701 yards) and doesnít look very intimidating, but itís tough.Ē

 

Florida earned its third team victory this weekend, adding to wins at Inverness and the Gary Koch Invitational during the fall. The Gators will continue the season Feb. 26-28 at the Puerto Rico Classic in San Juan, P.R.

 

Highlights from Sundayís final round of the SunTrust Gator Invitational can be seen on the Golf Channelís College Central, which is scheduled to air on Wednesday evening.Complete results can be found at www.gatorzone.com or at www.golfstat.com.

 

Team Results

Place

Team

Score

Par

1.

Florida

274-288-293 = 855

+15

2.

Tulsa

287-286-288 = 861

+21

3.

Florida State

291-286-292 = 869

+29

4.

Georgia State

285-293-297 = 875

+35

5.

LSU

297-291-293 = 881

+41

6.

Wake Forest

297-294-296 = 887

+47

7.

UAB

292-298-298 = 888

+48

T8.

South Carolina

287-308-295 = 890

+50

T8.

UCF

302-294-294 = 890

+50

T8.

Purdue

301-294-295 = 890

+50

11.

North Florida

301-298-293 = 892

+52

12.

Georgia Southern

289-311-295 = 895

+55

13.

Ohio State

289-307-303 = 899

+59

14.

Kentucky

301-307-297 = 905

+65

 

Florida Results

Place

Name

Score

Par

2.

Brett Stegmaier

65-79-76 = 210

E

4.

James Vargas

71-73-68 = 212

+2

T6.

Billy Horschel

71-71-73 = 215

+5

T16.

Matt Every

67-75-76 = 218

+8

T34.

Toby Ragland

72-76-76 = 224

+14

T23.

Jessie Mudd

76-72-72= 220

+10

T29.

Manuel Villegas

73-78-71 = 222

+12

T67.

Ryan Cochran

80-76-76 = 232

+22

 

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