MEN's GOLF: Gators capt ure Sun Trust Tourney

The number 18 ranked University of Florida men's golf team collected its first win of the 2004-05 season by claiming the 28th Annual SunTrust Gator Invitational on Sunday afternoon at the University Golf Course.

The Gators overcame a one-stroke deficit to No. 6 Wake Forest on the final day to claim their 19th Gator Invitational crown in the tournament's 28-year history by eight strokes. Junior Brett Stegmaier (Madison, Conn.) carded rounds of 72-68-71=211 (+1), to finish in a tie as the tournament's runner-up and earn the best finish by a Gator golfer in 2004-05. Florida State's Jonas Blixt earned his first collegiate medalist honor by carding a three-round score of 209 (-1) and win by two strokes.

Junior James Vargas (Miami, Fla.) continued to play well as he carded rounds of 70-72-72=214 (+4), to earn his first top-10 finish of the season by tying for ninth.

Closing the tournament out with a final round score of 69, redshirt senior transfer Ricahrd Treis (Baden-Baden, Germany) finished in a tie for 14th-place with a total score of 217 (+7).

Playing as an individual, redshirt freshman Manuel Villegas (Medelin, Colombia) had a solid tournament as he recorded rounds of 77-71-73=221 (+11) to tie for 27th-place.

Junior Matt Every (Daytona Beach, Fla.) tied for 34th-place by notching rounds of 73-76-73=222 (+12).

Despite firing a season-best round of 68 and matching a tournament-low score, junior Ryan Cochran (Paducah, Ky.) did not record a final score after a mistake was found on his first-round score card.

The 18th-ranked Gators return to action on Feb. 20-22 as they travel to Ponte Vedra, Fla., for the Mercedes Benz Collegiate hosted by North Florida.

RESULTS (3-DAY TOTALS): 1. Florida 858; 2. Wake Forest 866; 3. FSU 868; 4. South Carolina 869; 5. UCF 876; 6. Georgia State 877; 7. LSU 879; 9. Georgia Southern 881; 10. Purdue 882; 11. Tennessee 886; 12. Ohio State 900; 13. North Florida; 14. Kentucky 908; 15. College of Charleston 910

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