Three Florida Gators golfers at 2015 U.S. Open

Three former Florida Gators golfers – and one incoming freshman – will participate in the 2015 U.S. Open beginning Thursday at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington.

Below are breakdowns of each of the golfers. Scores will be updated each day after their rounds are completed.

Billy Horschel
Years at Florida: 2006-09
PGA Tour wins: 3
Major wins: 0
U.S. Open cuts made: 2/3
Best U.S. Open finish: T4 (2013)
Career earnings: $10.7 million
Official World Golf Ranking: 20

» Round 1 score: +2, 72 (T52)
» Round 2 score: +2, 72 (+4, 144, T50)
» Round 3 score: +3, 73 (+7, 217, T46)
» Round 4 score: -3, 67 (+4, 284, 27th)

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FOUR BITS: Florida Gators RHP Lauren Haeger wins Honda Sports Award for softball

1 » Already the 2015 USA Softball Player of the Year (first in program history), Most Outstanding Player from the 2015 Women’s College World Series and the 2015 SEC Pitcher of the Year, Florida Gators right-handed pitcher Lauren Haeger added to her trophy case on Wednesday by being named the 2015 Honda Sport Award winner for softball. The honor makes Haeger a finalist for Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the 2015 Honda Cup. She is the second Florida softball player to win the award (Kelsey Bruder, 2011), 18th overall Gators athlete since 1978 and second this year (Kytra Hunter, gymnastics).

Haeger, the second player (Babe Ruth) with 70+ home runs and 70+ wins on either the college (baseball, softball) or professional (MLB) level, smacked 71 homers and won 73 games over her four-year career at Florida. She finished the 2015 campaign with a 32-2 record and 1.23 ERA with 25 complete games in 35 starts and 214 strikeouts in 222.1 innings pitched.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Florida Gators RHP Lauren Haeger wins Honda Sports Award for softball

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FOUR BITS: Patriots LB Brandon Spikes released after his car was found abandoned in a crash

1 » One day after it was reported by FOX 25 out of Boston that a Maybach Mercedes registered to New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes was found abandoned on the median of a highway, the former Florida Gators player was released by the team. According to FOX 25, The OnStar representative from the car “told state police the driver of the care reported hitting a deer.” However, while an injured deer was not found near the scene, another car called in that it was rear ended at approximately the same time as the crash involving Spikes’s car. Spikes signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Patriots (with up to $1 million in incentives), returning to the team that drafted him after spending a season with the Buffalo Bills. His original tenure did not end well in New England, despite his close relationship with owner Bob Kraft, and his return to the franchise was a surprise. If this story sounds relatively familiar that is a vehicle belonging to former Miami Dolphins LB Channing Crowder was also abandoned on a highway in January 2008.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Patriots LB Brandon Spikes released after his car was found abandoned in a crash

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Florida Gators at 2015 Masters: all three cut

Three former Florida Gators golfers participated in the 2015 Masters beginning Thursday at Augusta National, making the Florida golf program the second-most represented in the tournament behind Georgia (six).

Below are breakdowns of each of the golfers, all three of whom missed the Friday cut line at +2.

Billy Horschel
Years at Florida: 2006-09
PGA Tour wins: 3
Major wins: 0
Masters cuts made: 1/1
Best Masters finish: T37 (2014)
Career earnings: $10.1 million
Official World Golf Ranking: 18

» Round 1 score: -2 (70), T12
» Round 2 score: +6 (78)
» CUT: +4 (148)

» Horschel on the Masters (via Florida Times-Union): “It’s got a lot of history and everything but it’s no different than any other 18-hole golf course. They have 18 holes. … I can see why people get in awe. It’s just not my style, never has been my style.”

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WATCH: Camilo Villegas registers three aces in five days, two at the Masters Par 3 Contest

Former Florida Gators golfer Camillo Villegas had himself a day on Wednesday, dropping in a pair of holes-in-one – on No. 4 and No. 8 – during the 2015 Masters Par 3 Contest at Augusta National.

Villegas now has three aces in the last five days, as he also registered a hole-in-one on the 14th hole at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Florida, on Saturday.

Continue Reading » WATCH: Camilo Villegas registers three aces in five days, two at the Masters Par 3 Contest

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Former Gators golfer Matt Every wins second straight Arnold Palmer Invitational

There’s something about Matt Every and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The former Florida Gators golfer accomplished a rare feat on Sunday by winning the event, played at Bay Hill Club & Lounge in Orlando, for the second straight year.

Every, whose first and only PGA Tour win prior to Sunday came at the 2014 event, became the third golfer in tournament history to win it in back to back seasons. Loren Roberts (1994-95) and Tiger Woods (2000-03, 2008-09, 2012-13) were the first two.

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FOUR BITS: Tebow, Horford, Sloan, Bader

1 » Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow was a guest on Golf Channel‘s Morning Drive on Monday. After a sit-down interview with the hosts (Watch), Tebow took to the golf simulator, telling one golf pro’s host that his son should go to Florida over Florida State before lining up and ripping a 343-yard drive.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Tebow, Horford, Sloan, Bader

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FOUR BITS: Horschel, Jenkins, Noah, Speights

1 » Former Florida Gators golfer Billy Horschel exploded on the scene last season, winning the 2014 FedEx Cup and bringing home a cool $14.8 million for his efforts. Horschel, who also had a baby girl just days after the most successful four-week stretch of his career, was apparently in a sharing mood and decided to be quite generous with his newfound wealth. In a profile by Golfweek, Horschel admits that he gave $10,000 to split among the locker-room attendants at the TOUR Championship and gifted his caddie with a $1 million bonus. He also splurged on his former Gators golf coach, Buddy Alexander.

Hours after winning the BMW Championship playoff in Denver, Horschel called Alexander. Horschel asked about tickets to the Florida-Alabama football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Alexander said he thought he could come through.

“I’ve got a little extra jingle in my pocket,” Horschel said. “If you get the tickets, I’ll get the plane.”

Horschel hired a private jet.

2 » According to the Miami Herald, Miami Dolphins linebacker Jelani Jenkins – whose breakout 2014 campaign included him being the NFL‘s leading tackler for a portion of the season – is currently back at Florida “taking five classes” during the spring semester as he attempts to earn his degree in applied physiology and kinesiology. Jenkins left school as a redshirt junior and was largely ineffective for the Dolphins as a rookie but came on in a major way last season. He told the Herald‘s Adam Beasley that he always came back to finish his degree and has seen some familiar faces while in town but is mostly staying to himself with four of the classes he’s enrolled in taking place online. Miami’s leading tackler with 108 in 2014, Jenkins is focused on improving his consistency during organized team activities this summer.

3 » Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah helped produce this video, You’re Not Alone, about stopping street violence in the Illinois city and across the country.

4 » Last month, Golden State Warriors center Marreese Speights had a gun pulled on him outside a San Francisco night club but was unharmed, running away when “a group of gang members” tried to steal his gold chains, according to KTVU FOX 2. Speights is having a career year for the Warriors, shooting a career-best 50.3 percent from the field and averaging a career-high 12.0 points per game. He is also bringing down 5.1 boards per contest and playing 18.1 minutes on average for the best team in the NBA at 42-9 near the midpoint in the season.

Extra BIT » Here’s Horschel chilling with Albert on Feb. 6.


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