UF Roundup: Zhang wins SEC men’s golf title

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Gators golfer Andy Zhang.

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Florida’s Andy Zhang defeated Ole Miss’ Cecil Wegener in a three-hole playoff Friday to win the individual portion of the SEC Men’s Golf Championship.

“My heart was beating really fast out there,” Zhang said. “I’m just glad I made some good pars. It’s an amazing feeling. Words can’t describe that joy at that moment.”

As a team, leader LSU got a 4-under 66 for the third consecutive round to spark a 3-under 277 Friday. LSU finished nine shots clear of the 843s posted by Florida and Vanderbilt. Alabama (848), Auburn (848), Arkansas (848), Ole Miss (851) and Texas A&M (851) completed the eight squads advancing to Saturday’s match play.

The pairings will be No. 1 LSU and No. 8 Texas A&M, No. 2 Florida and No. 7 Ole Miss, No. 3 Vanderbilt and No. 6 Alabama, and No. 4 Auburn and No. 5 Arkansas. The quarterfinals and semifinals are Saturday, followed by the final Sunday.

MEN’S TENNIS

Gators move to semifinals

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In its first match of the SEC Tournament, the third-seeded Florida men’s tennis team picked up a 4-1 win over Vanderbilt to advance to Saturday’s semifinal. Florida will play second seed Mississippi State (18-2) at 3 p.m.

In the quarterfinals, the Gators switched things up in both singles and doubles. In doubles, the Gators went with a new pair at the No. 2 spot with Alfredo Perez-Andy Andrade, while in singles Oliver Crawford got his first taste on Court 1.

Florida (16-8) has been dominant in doubles all season, and nearly unbeatable when they capture the crucial first point of the match. That dominance continued on Friday with McClain Kessler-Duarte Vale, playing at No. 1 doubles for the first time since Feb. 18, making quick work of their opponents with a 6-2 win. Court 2 and 3 went back and forth until Crawford-Perez-Blanco, on Court 3, put away their opponent with a 6-3 win to clinch the point.

Florida kept up its strong play in singles. The Gators jumped out in front early against Vanderbilt (18-8) to win the first set on five of the six courts. Set 2 didn’t go as smooth as the first set, but the Gators rebounded quickly to take control of the match. After winning set one 6-2, Kessler fell behind in the second but never wavered, coming back to win 7-5 and giving the Gators a 2-0 lead in the match. After Vanderbilt picked up a point on Court 5, Crawford was able to extend the Gators lead to 3-1 with a straight sets win at No. 1 singles. The deciding point came from Alfredo Perez on Court 2.

LACROSSE

Florida hosts Butler today

The No. 6 Florida lacrosse team wraps up the regular season with a noon draw Saturday against Butler (1-15, 0-8 Big East) at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Florida (13-3, 8-0) will honor six seniors: Shayna Pirreca, Allie Pavinelli, Aniya Flanagan, Katharine Hamer, Morgan Bracken and Olivia Cole.

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