Scenes from Day 2 of the SEC Men's Golf Championship in St. Simons, Georgia. Photo courtesy of Ashley Ray.

Gators Seek Match Play Berth at SEC Championship

Florida Gators men’s golf sits tied for second place through two rounds at the SEC Championship in St. Simon Islands, Georgia.

The Gators shot the lowest team round (-10) Thursday to rise four spots up the leaderboard, now tied for second. Florida (-11) trails Vanderbilt (-15) by four shots for first place.

Turner Continues Great Form

Florida freshmen Jack Turner delivered the lowest individual round of day two, shooting a bogey-free 65 (-5). It was also a career-low round for Turner, who sits one stroke behind Auburn’s Jackson Koivun (-8) for first place, individually.

Turner got off to a modest start Thursday with four pars on the first four holes. However, he caught fire over the next three holes by rattling off three consecutive birdies, finishing 3-under on the front nine. Turner remained steady on the back nine, recording seven pars and two birdies to finish 5-under on the day.

Turner is 7-under through two rounds and has a chance to become the 26th Gator in program history to win the SEC Individual Title.

The Orlando native is also in position to finish in the top three for a second consecutive tournament. In his last start, Turner finished in third place at the Calusa Cup in Naples, Florida, to help guide the Gators to their sixth tournament win.

Further, Turner has finished worse than 4-under in a tournament just one time this year. In his four tournament starts, Turner’s only over-par finish(+1) was at the Sea Best Invitational, where he still finished tied for seventh.

Gilligan Catches Fire with Six Birdies

Junior Ian Gilligan shot 66 (-4) Thursday thanks to a six-birdie round. Gilligan began the round with two bogeys on his first five holes. However, he would bounce back by shooting 6-under over his final 13 holes of the day. He finished the front nine with four consecutive birdies to go along with two birdies and seven pars on the back nine.

Gilligan is 3-under for the tournament and sits tied for 14th.

Other Scores From the Gators’ Lineup

Senior Tyler Wilkes recorded the other under-par round for the Gators outside of Gilligan and Turner. He shot 69 (-1) Thursday and sits at 1-over, tied for 33rd.

To round out the Gators’ lineup, sophomores Matthew Kress and Parker Bell shot 70 (E) and 73 (+3), respectively. Kress (+2) sits tied for 40th and Bell (+1) sits tied for 33rd, alongside Wilkes.

ย Day 3 Implications

Florida must finish in the top eight of the field to advance to the match play round. The Gators are the SEC defending champions and seeking to repeat as conference champions for the first time since 1994.

The third round begins Friday at 8 a.m.

About Cooper Bates

Check Also

After Earning U.S. Open Spot, UF’s Bell Has Eyes on Helping Gators Repeat

On the long walks between holes during his rounds, and the brief pauses before taking …