Florida University wins eighth straight Gator Invitational

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 13, 2011) --Redshirt senior Andres Echavarria from Medellin, Colombia, led the Florida men’s golf team to its eighth-consecutive first-place finish on Sunday at the Mark Bostick Golf Course. The Gators have won 25 of the 34 years the tournament has been in existence and have now finished in the top three in every tournament so far in the 2010-11 season.

Florida won the tournament with a final score of 844 (four over par), nine strokes ahead of Auburn in second place and 18 strokes ahead of LSU in third place.

At the end of the third round, Florida’s Bank Vongvanij from Bradenton, Fla., Echavarria and Phillip Choi from Orlando, Fla. and Florida State’s Drew Kittleson all finished with a 210, which forced the tournament into a playoff.

After the first three holes, Choi and Vongvanij made bogeys and fell out of the competition, leaving Echavarria and Kittleson to dual it out. Kittleson made a bogey on the first hole to give Echavarria his first win of the season and second-career win.

Vongvanij’s tie for first has earned him a top-five finish in every tournament in all five tournaments played in the 2010-11 season, including four in which he finished in the top three.

Choi shot a 69 in rounds two and three to record his fourth-consecutive top 10 finish.

“I think we fell asleep in the middle of the third round and let Auburn back in the tournament,” said head coach Buddy Alexander. “I am proud of the way we dug down and came up with a win.”

ABOUT THE SunTrust Gator Invitational

54 hole men's college tournament hosted by the University of Florida. Team (best four scores out of five players) and individual competitions.

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