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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Going into the John Hayt Invitational in Ponte Vedra Beach, the No. 3 Florida men’s golf team was the highest ranked team on the course.

But after one round of play, it's obvious that ranking was not an indicator of how well the team would perform.

The Gators are in 12th place with a 22-over par score of 310.

Freshman Phillip Choi was the only player to represent Florida in the top 10. Choi balanced out his bogeys with birdies to keep him at an even-par 72. He is currently tied for fifth place with four other competitors.

Following 46 positions behind Choi, senior Tim McKenney is in a tie for 51st. McKenney shot a six-over 78 off seven bogeys and a double bogey.

McKenney isn’t the only experienced Gators golfer to struggle in this tournament. Fellow senior Tyson Alexander is trailing McKenney by 13 spots. Alexander struggled to keep his strokes low Sunday, using birdies to balance out his higher scoring holes. He finished at 80, eight-over par, on two double bogeys and four bogeys.

Joining Alexander in a tie for 64th is junior Bank Vongvanij. The junior started off the first round with a bogey and followed that with five more and a double bogey.

Rounding out the Gators lineup is junior Andres Echavarria. Echavarria shot 10-over par, struggling with back-to-back bogeys on his first two holes. Echavarria went on to shoot four more bogeys and two double bogeys.

As an individual, freshman Tyler McCumber is in a tie for 18th. This is familiar territory for McCumber, who is a Ponte Vedra Beach native. The freshman shot a three-over Sunday, starting strong but faltering with a bogey on the seventh. McCumber bounced back with back-to-back birdies. He went on to card a triple bogey, two bogeys and a birdie.

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