Gators in Search of Fifth National Title


College CentralThe No. 1 ranked Florida Gators return to the Cascades Golf Course at The Homestead Resort with aspirations of claiming the programs fifth NCAA Championship and third team title in the last 12 years beginning on June 1 in Hot Springs, Va.
Florida will be making its 41st appearance at NCAAs, while the Gators have now made the tournament in 21 of the last 22 years. Florida last won a team title in 2001, while the Gators also won the event in 1973 and 1968.
Already one of the top teams in school history, the 2003-04 crop of Gators will look to enhance their status even more at the 2004 NCAA Championships. Florida enters the event having won seven of 13 tournaments this season - just one victory shy of the school record held by the 1972-73 squad.
In addition, the Gators have finished inside the top five at all 13 tournaments this year - matching the 1993-94 team, which finished in the top five in 13 tournaments, for the most in school history. But, the 2003-04 squad broke the record for consecutive top-five finishes as that mark was previously held by the 1970-71 team.
Floridas impressive run of winning seven of 13 tournaments this season obviously stems from excellent play from all of its players. One of the best indications is the remarkable consistency Florida has shown in the 2003-04 season.
In all, the Gators playing five has accounted for 151 rounds this year with 81 being even or under par rounds - a rate of nearly 54 percent. Senior Camilo Villegas leads the way, having carded an even or under par round in 27 of 35 rounds this year (77.1 percent), while sophomore Matt Every is in second at 21-for-35 (60 percent).
The University of Florida men's golf team, which was picked 10th in one preseason top-25 poll in August, concluded the 2002-03 season with a tie for fourth place at the 2003 NCAA Championships. The Gators' final round 299 (+11) at the Karsten Creek Golf Course in Stillwater, Okla. gave them a tie for fourth at 1,198 (+46) with Wake Forest. The Gators and Demon Deacons finished seven strokes behind national champion Clemson at 1,191 (+39).