Choi, Echavarria maintain Gator Men’s Golf lead at SEC Championship after Day Two

Sophomore Phillip Choi (Orlando, Fla.) and redshirt-senior Andres Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia) led the Florida men’s golf team to a first place finish after round two of the SEC Championship Saturday at Sea Island Golf Club.

The Gators shot a 282 to follow Friday’s score of 285 and finish six strokes ahead of runner-up Tennessee after leading by only one after the first round.

“We had another solid day, that’s what we’re all about,” said head coach Buddy Alexander. “We increased our lead a little bit and got some space between some other teams, so today couldn’t have gone a whole lot better. We couldn’t have written a script a whole lot better than this.”

Choi made three bogeys and two birdies on the day for a 71 to stay in a tie for second place after shooting a 69 on day one. Echavarria made a bogey on hole four and followed with a double bogey on hole five, but came back with three birdies on holes seven, 11 and 12 to shoot even par and jump into a second-place tie with Choi.

Senior Bank Vongvanij (Bradenton, Fla.) made a double bogey on the fourth hole, but followed with birdies on holes six, 15 and 16 before making a bogey on the 17th hole and finishing with even par on the day and tied for sixth.

“I’m particularly proud of Andres and Bank,” said head coach Buddy Alexander. “Those guys are seniors, they’ve been in the trenches before and they know how to stay patient and battle back. That’s the story of the day, just good, solid stuff all day.”

Sophomore Tommy Mou (Bradenton, Fla.) also contributed to the Gators’ success after making four bogeys and three birdies for a score of 71 and finishing tied for 17th.

Sophomore Tyler McCumber (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) shot a 76 in round two after making one double bogey, five bogeys and a birdie.

Florida will look to maintain its lead on Sunday for the third and final round beginning at 8 a.m.