Gators, Vogel open spring with JU Invite win
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- On one of the most difficult courses in the country, the Florida Gators were the last team standing.
Opening the spring on the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, the Gators shot a three-round score of 20-over 884 to defend their team title at the JU Invitational.
“Today was a good day for us,” Florida head coach Buddy Alexander said. “We didn’t have our good stuff, but we gutted it out. The best part about this win is that we worked so hard during the break, and to see immediate results is really great.”
Florida finished 15 shots ahead of Liberty. North Florida, the highest-ranked team in the field at No. 5, was third at 502. The Ospreys played the final round without junior Sean Dale (withdrew).
It was the second victory of the season for the 37th-ranked Gators (also won at Kiawah), who have had an up-and-down season after losing to graduation a pair of former All-Americans. (Outside of its two wins, Florida hasn’t finished better than seventh.)
Florida junior T.J. Vogel, who transferred last year from USC, picked up the first individual title of his career, shooting 73-69-74 for an even-par 216. That he moved into the winner’s circle in the first event of the spring wasn’t surprising; Vogel closed the fall with three consecutive top-8 finishes.
“It was really cool for T.J. to get the first win of his career here,” Alexander said. “He was one of the guys who didn’t have his best stuff today but was able to put together a solid round to help him win the tournament.”
East Tennessee State’s Rhys Enoch and East Carolina’s Harold Varner tied for second individually at 218.
After an opening-round 83, UF senior Tyler McCumber shot 69-71 to tie for 11th.