No. 7 Florida men’s golf opens season in Illinois

The No. 7 Florida Gators men’s golf team will open its 2011-12 season on Friday at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational hosted by the University of Illinois, which will be played at the famed Olympia Fields North Course.

“You’re always excited going into the fall,” head coach Buddy Alexander said. “It’s a new year and everyone is looking to get out there and find out what we’ve got.”

The Gators will play the three-day tournament with a lineup of T.J. Vogel, J.D. Tomlinson, Tyler McCumber, Michael Furci and Tommy Mou for the tournament, which features 10 teams ranked in the Golfworld/Nike Golf coaches’ poll.

“This is the way they qualified (for the lineup) and this is the way we’re going to send them out,” Alexander said.

The Gators, coached by Alexander in his 25th season, return four letterwinners from the 2011 SEC Champions, a squad that captured five tournament titles.

Last season at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational, the Gators used rounds of 280-280-285 to lead wire-to-wire and earn a seven-stroke victory over eventual national champion Augusta State.

Leading the way for the Orange and Blue in 2010 were a trio of golfers who finished in the top-10 – Bank Vongvanij (2nd, 207), McCumber (T5th, 211) and Andres Echavarria (T7th, 212).