Florida men's golf in second at home event
Published: Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 8:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 8:29 p.m.
Feeling uncomfortable and fatigued on their own course is something rarely experienced by the Florida Gators. But that's exactly where they found themselves Saturday afternoon at the Mark Bostick Golf Course in the second round of the SunTrust Gator Invitational.
What: SunTrust Gator Invitational
When: Tee times begin at 8 a.m.
Where: Mark Bostick Golf Course
With their top two players (T.J. Vogel and Tyler McCumber) weakened by the flu, the Gators did a fast fade in the afternoon round, shooting an 8-over 288. As a result, UF went from leading by one shot after 18 holes to trailing by nine with only 18 holes left to play Sunday in a tournament the Gators traditionally win.
“We knew it was going to be a tough day, and it was,” UF coach Buddy Alexander said.
While the Gators were staggering Saturday afternoon, the Florida State Seminoles were surging. They put together one of the best rounds in recent tournament history — an 8-under 272 — to open a nine-shot lead over Florida and North Florida.
The Seminoles are at 1-over 561, while the Gators and Ospreys are tied for second at 10-over 570.
“We're going to have to have a heck of a good day (Sunday) to catch them,” Alexander said. “They're a good team.
“There's no doubt we can shoot a low number. That doesn't mean their team won't shoot a low number. We're very capable of playing a very good round (Sunday). Then you kind of roll the bones and see what happens. We'll have to go get them. They're a good team. They're not going to back up.”
With Vogel and McCumber feeling the effects of the flu, the Gators had no energy to make a move in Saturday's afternoon round.
After shooting a 1-under 69 in the morning, McCumber shot a 73 in the afternoon. Vogel rebounded from a 72 in the morning to shoot an even-par 70 in the second round. But he limped in over the final few holes of the day, seeing a potential good round derailed with a triple-bogey 7 on No. 16.
“I'm exhausted,” Vogel said. “I was tired, but I've been so drugged up that I could not keep my composure. I was shaking, especially with my putting. I could not control the putter head because I was shaking all day.
“It was brutal. I felt helpless out there. I made a lot of good shots, but could not make any putts.”
Vogel was only one shot off the individual lead before he had the disastrous triple bogey on 16. He hit his second shot into a thick bush, could not find the ball and had to go back and play his second shot again. After hitting into a bunker, he blasted out and two-putted for a 7.
“It was extremely frustrating,” he said. “But I was already frustrated. I was 2-under and felt like I should have been at least 6- or 7-under. For that to happen, it just summed up my day. It wasn't my day.”
Vogel and McCumber are both at 2-over 142, six shots behind individual leader Scott Wolfes of Georgia Southern. Wolfes shot a 66 in the afternoon and holds a two-shot lead over FSU's Daniel Berger, who is at 2-under 138. UF's J.D. Tomlinson is at 1-over 141, along with fellow Gator Thomas Stewart, who is playing as an individual.
As for the team title, the Gators figure they are going to have to go extremely low Sunday to have any chance of overtaking the Seminoles.
“Nobody knows this course like us. It's our home course,” Vogel said. “We're capable of putting up four 65s. That's kind of what we need to do. We're more than capable.”
Vogel said he plans to do his part by being rested Sunday — and staying off his medication.
“I'm not taking the medicine tomorrow,” he said. “I'd much rather feel more sick but be in control of my body than feel a little bit better and shaking. Shaking is helpless.”
It's a feeling the Gators have not felt very often on their home course, but one they experienced Saturday afternoon.
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or email@example.com.