Men’s golf just four strokes back

SEA ISLAND, Ga. – Junior Tyler Brown (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) and freshman Tim McKenney (Scottsdale, Ariz.) shot identical scores of 69
(-1) on Saturday, accounting for two of the day’s four round below par, as the fifth-ranked University of Florida men’s team moved up to a tie for third place at the 2007 Southeastern Conference Championship.

Each of the Gators matched or improved upon their first-round scores, combining for a four-over 284 that marked the second-lowest round of the day. UF will head into Sunday’s final round just four strokes off the lead with a team total of 588 (+28).

“We played ourselves back into the golf tournament today, which is the most important thing in may mind,” Florida head coach Buddy Alexander said. “We can’t control what everyone else does, but when we get solid rounds out of guys like Tyler and Timmy, we can get some things done.”

Brown and McKenney combined to record eight birdies on the day, compared to just six bogeys as a duo. Brown finished the day in red-hot fashion with five birdies on the back nine, making up for a two-over performance during front half of his round. McKenney was solid throughout the day, mixing three birdies and 13 pars with two bogeys. Brown recorded his final birdie of the day on the par-three 17th hole, while McKenney circled a three on the par-four 18th to reach red numbers on his final hole of the day.

Saturday’s round was Brown’s best since shooting an identical number on Feb. 10 in the first round of the SunTrust Gator Invitational, and marked his fourth round of the season at par or better. He will enter Sunday’s final round tied for second, just three strokes off the pace set by Auburn’s Patton Kizzire, with a total of 144 (+4).

McKenney, who missed matching his career best by one stroke en route to his sixth round at par or better, last hit the 60s in with a 68 in the first round of the Chris Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational in March. His

36-hole total of 148 (+8) is good for a 15th-place tie following the first two rounds of play.

“Tyler played a great back nine today, and Timmy was solid the whole way,” Alexander said. “They really gave us what we needed. Both of those guys are getting a little better every week, and they’re starting to play with some confidence.”

A solid start to the second round allowed freshman Tyson Alexander (Gainesville, Fla.) to post a two-over 72 on Saturday, a nine-stroke improvement over his first-round score. He played the front nine at one under thanks to eight pars and a birdie on No. 7. Despite five bogeys on the back nine, he was able to counter with birdies on 14 and 17 to make an eight-spot move up the leader board and finish the day tied for 43rd with a total of 153 (+13).

Sophomore Billy Horschel (Grant, Fla.) equaled his first-round score with a second-straight 74 (+4) on Saturday. He birdied four holes along the way, heading into the 18th at one-over before a triple-bogey sent him into the clubhouse with a 74. His two-round total of 148 (+8) ties him with McKenney and three others for 15th place. Classmate Toby Ragland (Jacksonville, Fla.) bettered his first-round score by one stroke on Saturday, carding a five-over 75. He will open Sunday’s third round with a total of 151 (+11) and share of 29th place.

“Today was encouraging, and hopefully we can make a tournament of it tomorrow,” Alexander said. “If we get four solid scores, we? re going to make some people uncomfortable heading into the back nine. I like the way we played today, and I’m anxious to see us get out there tomorrow.”

Tennessee ascended to the second-round lead with a two-round total of

584 (+24), while Kizzire’s score of 141 (+1) has set the 36-hole individual pace. Play will resume at 8:30 a. m. tomorrow. Scoring will be done live on the Internet at www. golfstat. com, and can also be accessed at www. gatorzone. com.

Team Scores Through Round Two

Place School Score

1. Tennessee 301-283 = 584 (+24)

2. Alabama 298-288 = 586 (+26)

T3. FLORIDA 304-284 = 588 (+28)

T3. Mississippi 295-293 = 588 (+28)

5. Auburn 304-288 = 592 (+32)

T6. Vanderbilt 302-295 = 597 (+37)

T6. Georgia 308-289 = 597 (+37)

8. LSU 301-297 = 598 (+38)

9. South Carolina 304-297 = 601 (+41)

10. Kentucky 312-293 = 605 (+44)

T11. Mississippi State 304-307 = 611 (+51)

T11. Arkansas 316-295 = 611 (+511)

Individual Top-10 Through Round Two

Place Player Score

1. Patton Kizzire (Auburn) 72-69 = 141 (+1)

T2. TYLER BROWN (FLORIDA) 75-69 = 144 (+4)

T2. Jon Curran (Vanderbilt) 76-68 = 144 (+4)

T2. Will Roebuck (Mississippi) 69-75 = 144 (+4)

T2. Tino Weiss (Tennessee) 74-70 = 144 (+4)

T6. Mark Harrell (Alabama) 75-70 = 145 (+5)

T6. Andrew Landry (Arkansas) 73-72 = 145 (+5)

T6. Matthew Swan (Alabama) 74-71 = 145 (+5)

T9. Charles Ford (Tennessee) 75-71 = 146 (+6)

T9. Callum Macaulay (Mississippi) 75-71 = 146 (+6)

T9. Chris Paisley (Tennessee) 76-70 = 146 (+6)

T9. Brendon Todd (Georgia) 74-72 = 146 (+6)

Florida Results Through Round Two

Place Player Score

T2. Tyler Brown 75-69 = 144 (+4)

T15. Billy Horschel 74-74 = 148 (+8)

T15. Tim McKenney 79-69 = 148 (+8)

T29. Toby Ragland 76-75 = 151 (+11)

T43. Tyson Alexander 81-72 = 153 (+13)