Men’s golf within striking distance at SEC Championships

SEA ISLAND, Ga. – The fifth-ranked University of Florida men’s golf team shot a first-round 304 (+24) at the 2007 SEC Championship, closing the day in a four-way tie for sixth. Only nine strokes separate the Gators from tournament-leading Mississippi, while a cushion of just 13 shots stands between the first and 10th-place teams.

“Scoring was high across the board today due to some really windy conditions, but I’d like to see us go a little lower than we did in the first round,” Florida head coach Buddy Alexander said. “Some of our guys did a good job of battling, and now we just need to put four decent scores together. We made some mistakes today, but golf is a funny game and you can get back in, or fall back out, at any time.”

Sophomore Billy Horschel (Grant, Fla.) led the way for the Gators on Friday, carding an opening-round 74 (+4). Playing in the fifth spot, Horschel teed off first and led Florida into the turn with a one-over front nine. He gave back three strokes in the first four holes of the back half, but recovered to close put his round with five-consecutive pars. He will head into second-round play in a tie for seventh, just five strokes off the pace set by Mississippi’s Will Roebuck.

“Billy played smart and stayed away from big numbers today,” Alexander said. “He hit the ball, and he didn’t have his best stuff with the putter, but he battled through it and played good golf.”

A birdie on the par-four 18th hole sent junior Tyler Brown (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) into the clubhouse on a positive note. The round-closing birdie was his lone circled number of the day, and wrapped up a five-over round of 75, positioning him in a 15th-place tie, just one stroke behind teammate Horschel.

Sophomore Toby Ragland (Jacksonville, Fla.) played his best golf of the day near the end of the front nine, spurring that stretch with a birdie on the par-three sixth. He concluded the day in a tie for 23rd with a six-over 76. Freshmen Tyson Alexander (Gainesville, Fla.) and Tim McKenney (Scottsdale, Ariz.) both recorded scores of 79 (+9) on Friday, tying the for 44th after 18 holes.

“Tyler Brown did a great job of battling today,” Alexander said. “We got decent scores today from Billy and Tyler, and tomorrow we’ll look for four. We’re certainly not out of the golf tournament, but it’s time for us to start playing the way we’re capable of doing.”

On the strength of Roebuck’s 69, Mississippi captured the first-round lead at the SEC Championship with a team total of 295 (+15). Play will resume tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. EST, with the Gators slated for mid-morning tee times based on their opening-round performance. Scoring will be done live on the Internet at, and can also be accessed at

Team Scores Through Round One

Place School Score

1. Mississippi 295 (+15)

2. Alabama 298 (+18)

3. Tennessee 300 (+20)

4. LSU 301 (+21)

5. Vanderbilt 302 (+22)

T6. FLORIDA 304 (+24)

T6. South Carolina 304 (+24)

T6. Auburn 304 (+24)

T6. Mississippi State 304 (+24)

10. Georgia 308 (+28)

11. Kentucky 312 (+32)

12. Arkansas 316 (+36)

Individual Top-10 Through Round One

Place Player Score

1. Will Roebuck (Mississippi) 69 (-1)

2. Patton Kizzire (Auburn) 72 (+2)

T3. Andrew Landry (Arkansas) 73 (+3)

T3. Luke List (Vanderbilt) 73 (+3)

T3. Gator Todd (Alabama) 73 (+3)

T3. Chris Wells (LSU) 73 (+3)

T7. Florian Fritsch (South Carolina) 74 (+4)

T7. Noah Goldman (Mississippi State) 74 (+4)


T7. Brian Mason (Mississippi State) 74 (+4)

T7. Carlos Sainz (Mississippi State) 74 (+4)

T7. Matthew Swan (Alabama) 74 (+4)

T7. Brendon Todd (Georgia) 74 (+4)

T7. Tino Weiss (Tennessee) 74 (+4)

Florida Results Through Round One

Place Player Score

T7. Billy Horschel 74 (+4)

T15. Tyler Brown 75 (+5)

T23. Toby Ragland 76 (+6)

T44. Tyson Alexander 79 (+9)

T44. Tim McKenney 79 (+9)