Sophomores Matt Every and Brett Stegmaier each fired a 5-under 65s and share the lead as the No. 1 ranked Florida mens golf team made up 14 strokes to tie Day 1 leader Georgia during the second round of play on Saturday at the 2004 SEC Championships at the Seaside course at Sea Island Golf Club.
Florida was the only team to shoot in the red during the second round, notching a 3-under score of 277 to put the Gators in a tie with Georgia at 560 (even par) entering the final round at the par 70, 6,898-yard course. Auburn is third at 565 (+5), followed by South Carolina at 575 (+15) and Tennessee at 579 (+19). In addition, Florida and Georgia are both just one stroke off the record pace after two rounds, which was set by Georgia in 2001.
Florida is in the hunt for its second consecutive SEC title, which would also be the Gators eighth victory of the season and 12th top-five finish ' both of which would tie school records. Should Every or Stegmaier, who sit at 137 (-3) ' one stroke better than Georgias Brendon Todd and Alabamas Clint Provost, claim the win it would be the 20th time and third consecutive occasion that a Gator has won the SEC individual title following Stegmaier last year and Camilo Benedetti in 2002.
Everys second-round score was a career best, while Stegmaiers was the second best of his career after shooting a 64 en route to winning SECs last year. Every is in contention for his third title of the season, which would be the most by a Gator since Chris DiMarco won five tournaments in 1990. If Stegmaier claims the win, he would be the first player to win the event in consecutive seasons since Floridas Phil Hancock accomplished the feat in 1975-76.
Everys in a strong position to finish in the top 10 for the ninth time in 11 stroke play tournaments this season, while Stegmaier could finish in the top 10 for the third time this year. Their second-round scores of 65 also tie for the eighth best in Florida history and tie for the second best by a sophomore in school history.
Senior Camilo Villegas (Medellin, Colombia) is tied for 12th after a second-round score of 72 (+2) left him at 142 (+2) and ended his streak of consecutive even or under par rounds at 10 ' the second longest stretch by a Gator in nearly 20 years. Still, Villegas is in the mix for what would be his 16th top-20 finish in his last 17 tournaments and his fourth in as many tries at the SEC Championships.
Junior Duke Butler IV carded a 5-over 75 and is tied for 19th at 144 (+4). With a solid round on Sunday, Butler IV could post his fourth career top-20 finish. Freshman Jessie Mudd also shot a 75 on the second day, leaving him in a tie for 31st at 148 (+8).