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Friday, January 28, 2022

Entering the postseason fresh off its worst performance of the year, the UF men's golf team needed to regain the swagger it once had as a top-five team.

It did just that in the Southeastern Conference Championships over the weekend.

The No. 7 UF men's golf team finished the event in third place with a team score of 1 over par.

Standout senior Billy Horschel shot 10 under par in the tournament to claim the individual title. After Saturday's second round, his score was atop the leaderboard, and nobody could overtake him in Sunday's final round.

"I knew if I played well, they would have to come chase me," Horschel said.

Coach Buddy Alexander was glad to see one of his seniors play well in the last conference championship.

"Billy played terrific golf," Alexander said. "He wants to win a NCAA championship ring, but at least he already has a ring from playing as an individual in the SECs."

While Horschel has been a constant all season, the fifth spot in the lineup hasn't.

But senior Will Strickler stepped up in that position over the weekend.

He showed resilience, as he started the tournament with a score of 5 over par in the first five holes of the weekend but shot 1 under par the rest of the way.

"I think we are pretty set on the five guys we are going to use in the postseason," Alexander said. "Will is one of those guys that I thought did a great job in battling."

Although UF seemed to answer its lineup question, it didn't answer the Georgia question.

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For the third time this year, the No. 1 Bulldogs and the Gators participated in the same tournament, and for the third time this year, Georgia finished on top of UF.

"Georgia is a very good team, and in order to beat them you have to be pretty close to perfect," junior Tim McKenney said.

UF will have until May 14 to prepare for the NCAA Regionals.

WOMEN FINISH SEC CHAMPIONSHIP IN 8TH PLACE: The inexperience of the No. 31 UF women's golf team was evident in Columbia, S.C., this past weekend.

Despite improving their score each day, the Gators could not improve their position on the leaderboard.

The team shot 43 over par, good enough for eighth place in the SEC Championships.

Usually reliable sophomore Jessica Yadloczky turned in another solid performance in the event. She shot 4 over par for the weekend, which was tied for the sixth-best individual score.

UF will now have to wait until May 7 to continue its postseason in the NCAA Regionals.

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