Gators Wildcats Share West Regional

By Golf Channel NewsroomMay 20, 2006, 4:00 pm
Courtesy of gatorzone.com
 
NCAATUCSON, Ariz. -- The University of Florida Mens golf team advanced to the NCAA Championship on Saturday after tying Arizona for first-place at the West Regional Tournament. The Gators completed the three-day tournament with a team score of 827 (273-282-272 = 827) and set a school record by finishing at 37-under-par.

Freshman Billy Horschel (Grant, Fla.) had a solid day, carding a career-best score of 66 (-6) to take a share of first-place for his first collegiate victory. Horschel made five birdies and an eagle during the final round to lead the team. He also made a 12-foot putt on the final hole to pull the Gators even with Arizona in the team standings.
 
I cant say enough about Billy, Florida head coach Buddy Alexander said. .He keeps adding on to the incredible season he already has. From a confidence standpoint, this will definitely make feel better about himself heading into the NCAA Championship.
 
Horschels performance at the Omni Tucson National Golf Club completed a record-setting weekend for the Gators. He joined the company of Camilo Villegas, Bubba Dickerson, Dudley Hart and current teammates Jessie Mudd (Louisville, Ky.) and Brett Stegmaier (Madison, Conn.) as the only Gators to shoot a 66 during their freshman season. Records for this category date back to 1977.

Horschels share of the individual medal also gave the team three individual winners for the season, something that has not happened since 2003 when the Gators last won the National Championship. Senior Matt Every (Daytona Beach, Fla.) started the season by winning the Inverness Invitational in September, while Stegmaier took home top-honors at the SEC Tournament in April.
 
Not to be overshadowed, Every fired his sixth-consecutive round at par-or-under with a 70 (-2) during the final round to finish tied for ninth. Stegmaier moved into the top-25 by becoming the fourth Gator during the West Regional to card a 67 (-5).
 
Senior James Vargas (Miami, Fla.) also rebounded well by firing a final-round score of 69 (-3) to finished tied for 20th. Freshman Toby Ragland (Jacksonville, Fla.) finished his first post-season tournament tied for 54th place after back-to-back rounds of one-under-par 71.
 
Florida will have plenty of momentum heading into the NCAA Championship at Bend, Ore. on May 31-June 3. Their 37-under-par performance at the West Regional was one-stroke better than the 36-under-par score recorded by the team at the Atlanta Intercollegiate in 2003. The Gators also snapped a streak of three consecutive runner-up finishes.
 
It definitely breaks the streak, Alexander said. Were slowly inching our way to the top just in time. The NCAA Championship is shaping up to be an obvious showdown between the top three teams. We are certainly one of the better teams in the country and weve been that way since January.
 
The top 10 teams from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championship. No. 1-ranked Georgia fell by one-stroke to Wake Forest in the East Regional, while No. 2 Oklahoma State won the Central Regional. Florida was ranked No. 3 in the latest Golfweek and GCAA polls. Florida has advanced to the NCAA Championship in 24 of the last 25 years.
 
Related Links:
  • College Central Home
  • Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

    Getty Images

    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.