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Friday, January 28, 2022

The Florida men's golf team will travel to the Isleworth Invitational in Orlando for its last tournament of the fall season.

The Gators have not competed in this tournament since 2006.

That year, then-sophomore Billy Horschel finished in second place at the individual level and UF took second place overall.

"It is a very long golf course and it can be very difficult," coach Buddy Alexander said. "The last time we played there it was windy and cold … It always depends on how they set up the golf course in terms of hole locations and tees. I'm expecting it to be a challenging tournament, or a least a challenging golf course."

The time lapse, difficult, lengthy course could be a cause for concern as the team enters the last tournament of the fall, but senior Tyson Alexander appears unphased.

Now a senior, Tim McKenney competed in this tournament as a freshman alongside All-American Horschel. McKenney finished the tournament in a tie for 77th; experience may be a determining factor in this tournament.

"We haven't played in [the tournament] since 2006, but Tim McKenney, he was on that team that played in it, so he has seen the golf course before, and my dad [coach Alexander], has seen the golf course before," Tyson Alexander said. "In the practice round, those two guys will be able to help us out. After one practice round, you can usually pick up on the golf course, so I'm not too worried that this is the first time we've played on it in three years."

Junior Andres Echavarria is on top of his game going into this final tournament. Echavarria has gone four of six rounds at/under par and of two tournaments, has finished under par in one of them.

He has tied for third and tenth place in the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational and Gary Koch Tournament, respectively.

"He [Echavarria] has been one of our team leaders this year on and off the golf course," Alexander said. "He was playing like an All-American these first two tournaments and he should be able to continue his play. I think his work ethic is good and it's just continuing to get better and better. He has always been talented, I think this year it is starting to piece together and come together for him."

Echavarria, who redshirted during the 2007-2008 season, earned SEC Academic Honor Roll recognition. He also competed in the U.S. Collegiate Championship and tied for 77th.

"He is playing as I thought he would a couple of years earlier," Buddy Alexander said. "I have always said that he is one of the, if not the, most talented guys on our team. He's got a lot of shot, a lot of game, he does a lot of things really well."

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