Men’s golf moves up leaderboard

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Sophomore Billy Horschel (Grant, Fla.) and freshman Tim McKenney (Scottsdale, Ariz.) both fired one-under 69s in the third round of the NCAA Championships on Friday to lead the University of Florida men’s golf team to an even-par 280 and a spot in Saturday’s final round. The Gators finished the day with an eight-over total of 848, tying them with Minnesota for eighth place heading into the final round of competition.

“It feels great to be playing tomorrow, to know that we beat some really good teams for a spot in the final round,” Florida head coach Buddy Alexander said. “We haven’t played as well as we’re capable of this week, so we have one more shot tomorrow.”

Playing the back nine first for the second-straight day, UF got off to a rough start and made the turn at five over as a team. Momentum swung in the Gators’ favor when they hit the front nine, as they shot four strokes below par as a team over their last nine holes. No Florida player scored worse than even on the front, while three of the five were under par.

Horschel continued his steady play in the third round, needing only three birdies to counter a pair of bogeys en route to his best round of the tournament’s first three days. A bogey on the 10th hole started his day at one over, but he managed to hit the turn at one stroke under par after birdies on 15 and 17. A birdie on No. 6 followed six-consecutive pars, but a bogey on the seventh sent him to his final tally of 71 for the day. Horschel will open final-round play with a share of 57th place with a total of 213 (+3).

“Billy is a little frustrated with himself right now, and he’ll be the first to tell you that he hasn’t played great,” Alexander said. “That being said, he played a good round of golf today, and I’d be surprised if he didn’t come out tomorrow and play really well.”

McKenney used a closing spurt that saw him birdie three of his last five holes to post his second red number of the tournament, moving into a tie for 43rd with a three-round total of 212 (+2). Like Horschel, McKenney started the day at one over with a 10th-hole bogey, but quickly made up for the misstep with a birdie at 13 and then held steady until the turn. A bogey on the third hole sent him back above par before his late-round flurry, which saw him add circles to his card on holes five, six and eight, helped him overcome a bogey on No. 7 and finish the day with a 71. The effort marked the first time in McKenney’s collegiate career that he has produced two below-par rounds at the same tournament.

“Tim was just as big for us today as anybody,” Alexander said. “He wasn’t real happy with his performance yesterday, but he’s in a little better spot right now. He’s a good putter and does a lot of things really well, so if we can get him off to a good start, tomorrow might be big for him.”

Junior Manuel Villegas (Medellin, Colombia) also found his touch for birdies on the front nine during Friday’s round, pouring in four of his five over the last nine holes. A birdie on No. 18 sparked a run of three-consecutive birdies that stretched over the turn, and he was able to add another on the fifth and cap his round with a circled-number on the ninth. Despite making the turn at four over for the day, Villegas’ was able to finish with a one-over 71 after making birdie on five of his last 10 holes. His three-round score of 212 (+2) has him in a tie for 43rd heading into the final 18 holes of play.

Sophomore Toby Ragland (Jacksonville, Fla.) was also within one stroke of par on Friday, sinking three birdies along the way to a one-over 71. Finding himself at three over after six holes, Ragland made birdie on the 16th to head into the break at just two over for the round. A bogey on No. 2 sent him back to three over, but he came through with birdies on the fourth and sixth holes to become the third Gator under par on the front nine. Ragland will begin Saturday’s play with a total of 212 (+2), joining McKenney and Villegas in a 43rd-place tie. Junior Tyler Brown (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) finished with a five-over 75 on Friday, making a quartet of birdies during the round. He will head into the final round in a tie for 143rd with a total of 225 (+15).

“We’re a young team, and this is a great experience for us,” Alexander said. “I would have been really disappointed if we didn’t make the cut, but now that we have, it’ll be good for us to see what it’s like to be on this stage.”

Scoring will be done live on the Internet at, and can also be accessed at

Team Scores Through Round Three

Place School Score

1. Stanford 275-278-275 = 828 (-12)

2. Coastal Carolina 277-281-272 = 830 (-10)

T3. Charlotte 279-283-276 = 838 (-2)

T3. Alabama 284-283-271 = 838 (-2)

5. Georgia 282-289-269 = 840 (E)

6. Georgia Tech 288-275-280 = 843 (+3)

7. UCLA 283-280-283 = 846 (+6)

T8. Minnesota 278-276-294 = 848 (+8)

T8. FLORIDA 278-290-280 = 848 (+8)

T10. South Carolina 291-278-280 = 849 (+9)

T10. Duke 294-278-277 = 849 (+9)

T12. Lamar 285-287-278 = 850 (+10)

T12. Texas 278-288-284 = 850 (+10)

T14. Oklahoma State* 287-279-285 = 851 (+11)

T14. Tennessee 284-287-280 = 851 (+11)

T14. Florida State* 283-288-280 = 851 (+11)

17. Georgia State 286-282-284 = 852 (+12)

T18. East Tennessee State 280-280-294 = 854 (+14)

T18. Southern California 289-286-279 = 854 (+14)

T18. Arizona State 286-290-278 = 854 (+14)

T21. North Carolina 289-283-283 = 855 (+15)

T21. Vanderbilt 284-285-286 = 855 (+15)

23. Michigan State 283-287-287 = 857 (+17)

24. Arizona 290-287-281 = 858 (+18)

25. Tulsa 284-291-284 = 859 (+19)

26. Wake Forest 293-287-285 = 865 (+25)

27. Louisville 288-292-288 = 868 (+28)

28. Texas Tech 293-294-282 = 869 (+29)

29. New Mexico 293-288-291 = 872 (+32)

30. Auburn 295-291-287 = 873 (+33)

* – Advanced to Saturday’s final round by way of a playoff

Individual Top-10 Through Round Three

Place Player Score

T1. Rob Grube (Stanford) 64-71-69 = 204 (-6)

T1. Kyle Stanley (Clemson) 70-69-65 = 204 (-6)

T1. Cameron Tringale (Georgia Tech) 67-68-69 = 204 (-6)

T4. Chesson Hadley (Georgia Tech) 72-67-66 = 205 (-5)

T4. Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina) 67-68-70 = 205 (-5)

T4. Zach Sucher (UAB) 68-67-70 = 205 (-5)

T4. Daniel Summerhays (BYU) 74-63-68 = 205 (-5)

T8. Jon Curran (Vanderbilt) 70-64-72 = 206 (-4)

T8. Zack Miller (Stanford) 70-69-67 = 206 (-4)

T8. Matt Savage (Florida State) 67-69-70 = 206 (-4)

Florida Results Through Round Three

Place Player Score

T43. Tim McKenney 66-77-69 = 212 (+2)

T43. Toby Ragland 72-69-71 = 212 (+2)

T43. Manuel Villegas 70-71-71 = 212 (+2)

T57. Billy Horschel 71-73-69 = 213 (+3)

T143. Tyler Brown 71-79-75 = 225 (+15)