No. 1 Men's Golf Set To Begin Competition At NCAAs

The No. 1 University of Florida men's golf team embarks on its quest for a fifth national championship when the Gators begin play at the 2004 NCAA Men's Golf Championships on Tuesday at The Homestead Resort's Cascades Golf Course.

By taking fifth at the NCAA East Region Championships May 20-22 the Gators earned the No. 13 seed and will tee off at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the par 70, 6,679-yard course located in the scenic Allegheny Mountains. Florida will compete with a playing lineup of senior Camilo Villegas (Medellin, Colombia), sophomore Matt Every (Daytona Beach, Fla.), freshman Jessie Mudd (Louisville, Ky.), sophomore James Vargas (Miami, Fla.) and sophomore Brett Stegmaier (Madison, Conn.).

"We're looking forward to playing and taking on the challenge," Florida coach Buddy Alexander said. "We didn't play particularly well at the regional and I think the team is looking forward to getting back on the course and showing what they can do."

The appearance at the NCAA Championships is the 41st in school history with the Gators having finished in the top 10 on 25 occasions, including two of the last three years. Along with several other teams, Florida won't begin play without a little prior knowledge of the Cascades as the Gators took third at the NCAA Preview during the fall season at the same course.

The tournament will mark the conclusion of the career of one of Florida's greatest golfers in Villegas. The three-time All-American and two-time SEC Player of the Year will have the opportunity to do something no other player in school history has ever done: finish in the top 10 at the SEC Championships, the NCAA Region Championships and the NCAA Championships in the same season.

The 30-team field will be cut to 15 teams after 54 holes with the remaining teams to play the final 18 holes on Friday. Live scoring throughout the duration of the event can be found at

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