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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

After a nightmarish first day, the Gators drastically improved their performance in the second round but could only improve their position on the leaderboard by four spots.

The No. 6 UF men's golf team still finds itself in 25th place with a score of 29 over par as it heads into the third round of the NCAA Championships in Toledo, Ohio.

Despite the team's score of 26 over par in Tuesday's first round, the Gators fared a lot better on Wednesday and shot 3 over par for the round.

"We've played poorly and even though today was a little better, we haven't played well enough to give ourselves a chance to be successful," coach Buddy Alexander said.

UF might have dug too deep of a hole in the first round for it to come back.

"It was an incredibly disappointing day and a day we might not be able to recover from," Alexander said.

After today's third round, the field of teams will be cut to eight. The Gators will need a miraculous round to make up the 16-shot gap between them and the eighth spot.

Senior Billy Horschel did his part on Wednesday with a second round score of 3 under par, pushing his tournament score to 2 over par. He will enter today on a highnote after finishing the second round with four straight birdies.

However, if the Gators are going to make a run today, somebody in addition to Horschel will have to step up.

No UF golfer other than Horschel has shot lower than 9 over par in this week's event.

The two other seniors, Toby Ragland and Will Strickler, have shot 16 over par and 9 over par, respectively.

Juniors Tyson Alexander and Tim McKenney have not performed any better. Both of them finished the second round with a score of 10 over par.

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Oklahoma State is in first place at even par, just five shots ahead of second-place Georgia.

The season will be on the line for UF today, as it makes one last attempt to crack the top eight before the field is cut.

"We've got to have a phenomenal day to get into the top eight, and maybe we have one in us," coach Alexander said. "We are certainly going to plan for it, and we certainly are going to prepare for it."

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