DALTON, Ga. -- The No. 1 ranked University of Florida mens golf team won its second tournament in three tries this season as the Gators shot a final round 281 (-7) to emerge as the victor on Sunday at the 2003 Carpet Capital Collegiate at The Farm Golf Club.
Led by sophomore Matt Every (Daytona Beach, Fla.) who turned in a career-best performance at the tournament, the Gators pulled ahead of defending national champion Clemson with a three-round score of 853 (-11) to win by four strokes over the Tigers and Texas, which tied for second at 858 (-6).
'We had a real nice day and we had a lot of fun out there today,' said coach Buddy Alexander. 'We overcame some hiccups on the front nine and got on a hot streak to finish at 10-under on the back nine. This is a good win for us and to have won two tournaments already is a good start to the season.'
Every fired off a career-best 66 on Sunday to finish in a tie for fifth ' also a career-high finish. His three round sum of 210 (-6) was also his best tournament score as a Gator. On Sunday, he recorded eight birdies, including five on the back nine.
'Matt played terrific golf today,' Alexander said. 'He seems to have a propensity to play his best on the last day. Hes very clutch and hes done this a lot. Hes already a very good putter and is a very smart player who controls his distance better than just about anyone in college golf and hes going to keep getting better.'
Jason Hartwick of Texas won the individual title, finishing at 13-under (71-65-67 = 203) at the par 72, 7,010-yard course.
For the second time this season, three Gators finished in the top 10 as Florida won two of its first three tournaments to open a season for the first time since the 1978-79 campaign. The appearance at the Carpet Capital was the 14th in the last 15 years for the Gators and the victory at the tournament was the first for Florida since 1989.
Senior Camilo Villegas (Medellin, Colombia) and freshman Jessie Mudd (Louisville, Ky.) both tied for ninth at 3-under. The top-10 finish was the second for Villegas in three tournaments this season as he shot a final round 71 to finish at 213 (-3). Mudd, whos placed in the top 20 at each of his three collegiate events, carded a final round 71, which included seven birdies with five occurring on the back nine. His three-round total of 213 stands as his best score in his young collegiate career.
Sophomore Brett Stegmaier (Madison, Conn.) finished in a tie for 40th after his final round of 76. He eagled the par 5 12th hole to end the tournament at 221 (+5).
Sophomore James Vargas (Miami, Fla.) was 1-over on the final day of play with a 73 to finish in a tie for 42nd with a three-round score of 222 (+6).
The Gators return the links for the Gary Koch Invitational, which is co-hosted by Florida with Kentucky, on Oct. 20-21 at Old Memorial Golf Course in Tampa, Fla.
North Carolina State
East Tennessee State