Monday, September 18, 2023
Tyson Alexander off to good start with tie for 30th . . .

    Ted Potter suffered through a miserable 36 holes at the Fortinet Championship in Napa, California, first leg in the new FedExFall series, a series of seven tournaments that will help players rack up points and exemptions for the 2024 season.

    Ted posted rounds of 79-80-159, and missed the cut by a mile. Sahith Theegala collected $1,512,000 for his two-stroke victory over S. H. Kim. Sahith shot 21 under par at the Silverado Resort, closing with a 4-under-par 68 on Sunday.

    Gator Tyson Alexander had an up-and-down adventure with rounds of 73-67-75-66-281, 7 under, and tied for 30th, earning $42,532. Seminole Hank Lebioda tied for 19th at 9 under and collected $99,540, while Gator Brian Gay missed the cut at 1 over.

    Central Floridian Eric Cole, one of the surprises of the 2022-2023 season, continued his excellent play, finishing fourth at 16 under par.  

Saturday, September 9, 2023
PGA opens at Fortinet Championship in California . . .

    Ted Potter and two ex-Gators are in the field for the $8 million Fortinet Championship beginning Thursday at the Silverado Resort and Spa North course in Napa, California.

    Along with Ted in the season opener are Tyson Alexander, who doesn't live in Gainesville anymore, but who plays out of Gainesville, and veteran Brian Gay, currently playing two tours, including the Champions. 

    Ted made it into eight events in the recently concluded season, and made three cuts. His best was a tie for 25th at 7 under par in the RBC Canadian Open, and a check for $64,850; he earned $82,250 overall. Tyson, in his rookie season on Tour, finished 112th on the money list with a healthy $1,200,036 and earned a second season in the exempt category.

    Seminole Hank Lebioda is in the field and Gator Matt Every is the 10th alternate. 

    Max Homa won the event the last two years and is back to try for the threepeat; he earned $1,440,000 last year. Stewart Cink is also on board; he holds the scoring record at 21 under set in 2020.   

    The course is a par-72 measuring 7,123 yards.

Monday, September 4, 2023
Tyson Alexander's rookie season was excellent . . .

    The Tour Championship is now history, and Ted Potter remains in exempt limbo. While sitting out most of the PGA Tour events in 2022-2023, he wound up 214th on the FedEx Cup points list, leaving him on the outside looking in, with opportunities mostly when there are two events scheduled for the same week, and he can squeeze into the lesser of the two. He's also eligible for the Pebble Beach Pro-Am as a past winner (2018).

    As for the Gator group, Billy Horschel had a sub-par season, finishing in 90th place. Tyson Alexander took full advantage of his rookie season, finishing 104th and earning more than $1 million. Making the top 125 assures him of getting a full schedule in the upcoming season. Brian Gay wound up 204th but he's okay due to his past success, and he'll continue playing the Champions Tour, too. Camilo Villegas is in trouble; he finished 224th. Seminole Hank Lebioda was 199th. 

    Next on the new agenda is the $8 million Fortinet Championship in Napa, California on Sept. 14. Max Homa has won the last two, played at the Silverado Resort North. 

Saturday, September 2, 2023
Hovland in a runaway . . .

Viktor Hovland -27

-7 - 68 - 64 - 66 - 63 - 261

2. - USA
Xander Schauffele - 22

-8 - 67 -64 - 68 - 62 - 261

3. - USA
Wyndham Clark -16

-5 - 68 - 67 - 68 - 65 - 268

Rory McIlroy -14

-5 - 70 - 67 - 71 - 65 - 273

5. - USA
Patrick Cantlay -13

-4 - 69 - 68 - 68 - 66 - 275

Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Up-to-date stats difficult to find . . .

    Finding up-to-date statistics for LIV golf isn't easy; they are usually one or two events behind in keeping the stats through the current week. For instance, the latest stats listed are through July 21, and there have been two more tournaments to be included since. Prior to the events at Greenbrier and Bedminster, Talor Gooch was the leading money-winner with individual earnings of $13,504,183, plus team payouts of $1,750,000, a total of $15,254,183. Dustin Johnson was second with $7,388,150 plus $2,750,000, a total of $10,138,150. Seminole Brooks Koepka was fourth with $8,903,833, plus $375,000, a total of $9,278,833. 

    Ocala's Louis Oosthuizen was 13th with $4,487,797, plus $1,375,000, a total of $5,862,797. 

    In the Greenbrier, Bryson DeChambeau had an unreal week, winning at 23 under par, including rounds of 58 and 61, and that was worth $4 million. Oostie tied for 25th at 8 under and collected $163,000. 

    In the event at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey that ended Sunday, Cam Smith picked up the $4 million with a 12 under effort, seven better than Anirban Lahiri, who picked up $2,250,000. Oostie had an off-week and tied for 33rd at 5 over; his check was $155,500. Brooks was seven over, tied for 38th, and earned $141,250. Phil Mickelson, who hasn't made an impact, had one of his best weeks, tieing for ninth at 1 under and banking $437,500.

Friday, August 4, 2023
Horschel opens with 67, Alexander with 72 . . .

    Gators Billy Horschel, Tyson Alexander and Brian Gay are in Greensboro, North Carolina for the Wyndham Championship at the par-70 Sedgefield Country Club, along with Seminoles Hank Lebioda and sensational rookie Vincent Norrman. 

    In the opening round, Normann shot 4-under-66 and is tied for seventh, and Lebioda added an even-par 70 and is tied for 68th. The early projected cut is minus 1. Among the Gators, Horschel's 67 is 3 under and he's tied for 16th; Tyson opened with a 2-over-72 and is tied for 109th with some work to do today; Gay is also at 2-over-72. 

    Russell Henley leads with a sharp 8-under-62, followed by Adam Svensson and Byeong Hun An with 7-under-63s. 

    At last week's 3M Open, Horschel shot 66-67-68-70-271, 13 under par, and tied for 13th. Tyson chimed in with 69-67-68-68-272, 12 under, and tied for 20th. He strengthened his credentials for retaining his exemption for a second year by earning $82,179, boosting his rookie year total to $1,200,036. Gay and Lebioda both missed the cut. Lee Hodges ran away and hid at 24 under, winning by seven strokes, and collected $1,404,000. 

Sunday, July 30, 2023
Horschel and Alexander in line for big paydays with good finish . . .

    After 54 holes, the Gators are still in the running for big paychecks at the 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota.

    Billy Horschel's 66-67-68-201, 12 under par, has him tied for fifth, although 8 strokes behind runaway leader Lee Hodges. Tyson Alexander's 69-67-68-204, 9 under par, is tied for 15th. Hodges has posted incredible rounds of 63-64-66 and is 20 under par, leading by five over J. T. Poston and six over Tony Finau. The $7.8 million event is his to win or lose. 

    The two Tour surprises are both going well - Seminole Vincent Norrman is tied for 55th at 5 under par, and Peter Kuest is tied for 39th at 6 under. Both were total unknowns just a couple of months ago. 

Saturday, July 29, 2023
Billy is 9 under, Tyson is 6 under . . .

    Two Gators made the cut at the 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota, two missed it; one Seminole made it, one didn't.

    Billy Horschel posted rounds of 66-67-133, 9 under par over the par-71 TPC Twin Cities course, and he's tied for seventh behind sizzling leader Lee Hodges (63-64-127, 15 under). Tyson Alexander's 69-67-136, 6 under, has him tied for 22nd. Dual Tour player Brian Gay headed home after 36 holes after rounds of 69-77. 

    Sensational Seminole newcomer Vincent Norrman made another cut with 66-70-136, but lefty Hank Lebioda's 71-72-143 missed the cut of 4 under by three strokes. 

Thursday, July 27, 2023
Ocala Preserve architect Lehman is also playing . . .

    Gator Tyson Alexander tries to increase his already-over-$1-million bank account beginning today in the $7.8 million 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota. Other former Gators in the field are Billy Horschel and Brian Gay, the senior who continues to collect paychecks on the PGA Tour and with the Champions.

    There are two former Seminoles who will tackle the TPC Twin Cities, Hank Lebioda and newcomer Vincent Norrman, who has taken the Tour by storm after beginning the year without an exemption. Also in the field is senior Tom Lehman, the architect who built the golf course at the Ocala Preserve, which no longer sports a Trilogy sign, on Highway 27.   


Thursday, July 27, 2023
Louis Oosthuizen tied for 23rd and nets $121,500 . . .

    Brian Harman's victory at The Open across the sea was worth $3 million, and runnersup Tom Kim, Sepp Straka, Jason Day and Jon Rahm, who ended up six strokes behind Harman's 13 under par, all collected $1,084,625. 

    Ocala's Louis Oosthuizen tied for 23rd at even par 284 and added $121,500 to his bank account. Seminole Brooks Koepka tied for 64th at 8 over par and earned $39,025, while Gator Billy Horschel missed the cut with 73-75-148.

Friday, July 21, 2023
Too many bogeys hurt both players . . .

    Ted Potter and Tyson Alexander both made it through Sunday at last week's Barbasol Championship, and both turned in entries for this week's Barracuda Championship in Truckee, California. Tyson's exempt status got him into the field, but Ted was relegated to third alternate. By Wednesday afternoon, though, Ted had moved up to No. 1, and he wound up in the field by Thursday morning.

    The Barracuda scoring is by the Modified Stableford system which awards no points for a par, two for a birdie and five for an eagle, while subtracting one point for a bogey and three for a double. Neither Ted nor Tyson was able to reach the required number of points to make to the weekend, Ted shooting 72-77 and winding up with minus 3, and Tyson shooting 70-74 and reaching plus 4. Both were knocked out by posting too many doubles. 

    At the halfway point, Ryan Gerard led with plus 30, Patrick Rodgers was second with plus 26 and ex-Seminole Vincent Norrman third with plus 23.  

Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Ted ties for 52nd, Tyson ties for 33rd . . .

    Ted Potter and Gator Tyson Alexander both made the cut at the Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Kentucky, and both picked up minor-league checks since the event's purse was only $3.8 million.

    Ted finished with 69-68-71-72-280, 8 under par, tied for 52nd and collected $9,006, while Tyson posted rounds of 70-67-68-72-277, tied for 33rd at 11 under, and collected $19,841. That brought Ted's total for the season to $82,520, while Tyson raised his total to an imposing $1,117,857.

    Both turned in entries for this week's Barracuda Championship in Truckee, California, and Tyson is automatically in as an exempt player. Ted, however, came in at No. 3 on the alternate list, but by Tuesday morning he had moved up to No. 1 after two defections. That means he has a good chance to get in by Thursday a. m. 

    The Barbasol was won by newcomer Vincent Norrman, with 66-67-67-66-266, 22 under par. He's a former FSU Seminole, and he cashed in for $684,000 after winning a one-hole playoff over Nathan Kinsey, who bogeyed the first playoff hole. 



Saturday, July 15, 2023
Strong finishes for 7 under par . . .

    The Ocala/Gainesville duo both made the cut with strong finishes yesterday at the $3.8 million Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

    Ocala's Ted Potter added a 4-under-par 68 to his opening-round 69 for 137, 7 under par, and he's tied for 24th heading into moving day. Gator Tyson Alexander tacked on a 5-under-67 to his opening 70 and he's tied with Ted at 7 under. 

    The highlight of Ted's round was making three birdies and an eagle for 5 under par on the par 5s. He was still in jeopardy of missing the cut of minus 4 after blowing a par putt of 3 feet, 11 inches on No. 14, but he finished birdie, birdie, par, birdie to cement his position. Tyson flirted with the cut line until making birdies on his final two holes, 8 and 9. 

    Lucas Glover, whose position at No. 93 on the FedEx points list was best in the field going in with all the top guns at the Scottish Open, is the halfway leader with 63-68-131, 13 under par. There's a trio in second at 11 under.  


Monday, July 10, 2023
Top players are at the Scottish Open . . .

    Ocala/Gainesville will both be represented in the Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Kentucky, beginning Thursday as the PGA Tour's top players cross the sea for the Scottish Open. Ted Potter will continue his quest to regain his exempt status, while Tyson Alexander will try to move up on the FedEx Cup points list - he's currently No. 110.

    Seven of the top 10 FedExers will be at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland - Scottie Scheffler (No. 2); Max Homa (3); Sam Burns (5); Viktor Hovland (6); Rory McIlroy (7); Rickie Fowler (8) and Nick Taylor (10). Jon Rahm (1); Wyndham Clark (4) and Keegan Bradley (5) won't be at either venue. 

    The top player at the Barbasol will be Lucas Glover (93).

    Ted Potter has earned $73,514 and is 217th on the current money list. Tyson is enjoying his best year on any tour and has banked $1,098,016 in his rookie season with the PGA stars. In last week's John Deere Classic, he shot 69-70-139, 3 under par, and had to wait all day only to find out late in the afternoon the cut moved from minus 3 to minus 4. 

    One interesting note: five Champions Tour stalwarts - Steve Stricker, Chad Campbell, Heath Slocum, Joe Durant and Duffy Waldorf - turned in entries for the Barbasol, and all wound up on the alternate list. Gator Matt Every is No. 2 on the alternate list. 


Friday, July 7, 2023
Tyson Alexander tied for 41st . . .

    Brett Stegmaier's rounds of 67-70-69-69-275 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic put him at 13 under par, good for a tie for 29th place and his second nice check in two weeks after his long layoff on the PGA Tour. The ex-Gator collected $58,960, and added to his $46,000 haul from the previous week at the Travelers Championship, he was able to bank $104,960. 

    Brett is absent from this week's John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois, since he's still not exempt, and will have to again rely on Monday qualifying to play in future events, or gain a sponsor's exemption.

    Tyson Alexander is representing the Gators this week, and he began on Thursday with a 2-under-par 69 (34-35) and is tied for 41st. Tyson made four birdies and two bogeys over the TPC Deer Run course, in the event that doesn't feature even one player in the top 19 on the FedEx Cup point list. No. 20, Taylor Moore is the highest in the field. Ocala's Ted Potter began the weeks as the No. 10 alternate, and after seven defections, wound up at No. 3.

    The first-round leader is Jonas Blixt with a blixtering 62, 9 under, followed by Grayson Murray at 7 under and six others at 6 under. 

Saturday, July 1, 2023
Ex-Gator is tied for 29th . . .

    Brett Stegmaier faltered somewhat in the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, but the ex-Gator still made the cut, posting a 2-under-par 70 and heading into the weekend at 7 under. The cut came at 4 under par.

    Brett made six birdies in round 2, but four bogeys prevented him from sneaking into the top 10 after 36 holes. He's tied for 29th and has an excellent chance to collect another good paycheck on Sunday evening to go along with the $46,000 he earned last week at the Travelers. 

    Two Taylors - Moore and Pendrith - are deadlocked for the lead at 13 under par in the $8.8 million event. Gator Tyson Alexander bowed out with 72-76, making six bogeys and just two birdies on Friday. Seminole Hank Lebioda is still around after a pair of 69s for 6 under; he's tied for 41st. 



Friday, June 30, 2023
Ex-Gator qualifies again, shoots 5 under par . . .

    The unlikely saga of Brett Stegmaier continues.

    Last week, the ex-Gator who spent three years on Tour through 2018, then lost his exemption, Monday qualified for the Travelers Championship with a 6-under-par 66. He then shot 68-67-71-68, 6 under par, and collected $46,000, his first paycheck in five years. 

    Buoyed by that success, Brett traveled to Detroit for the $8.8 million Rocket Mortgage Classic and on Monday he qualified for the second straight week. Kyle Reifers was best in the qualifier with a 64, but Brett tied for second with three others, including Peter Kuest, and they played off for the three remaining spots. Brett made it, so did Kuest, and both took advantage of the opportunity on Thursday. 

    Kuest, who has conditional Korn Ferry Tour status, shot an 8-under-par 64, and is tied for first with Taylor Moore. There's a seven-way tie for third at 65, and Brett's 5-under-par 67 put him in a tie for 14th. He made seven birdies and two bogeys, including birdies on three of his last five holes. Reifers also made it through Monday qualifying last week and wound up tied for 38th. 

    The other ex-Gator in Detroit is Tyson Alexander, and he posted an even-par 72, with three birdies and three bogeys. 

Monday, June 26, 2023
It's only a one-timer, but it's worth $46,000 . . .

    Gator Brett Stegmaier's one-event return to the PGA Tour was successful on several fronts. 

    First, he posted rounds of 68-67-71-68-274, 6 under par, good for a tie for 56th in the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut. It was just his second foray on Tour in three years, proving he can still tee it up with the big guys. 

    Second, he banked $46,000, probably not far off from what he earns in a year as an assistant pro at a course just 62 miles away from Cromwell. Third, he was able to make a cut that was higher than most PGA Events - 4 under par. Brett was 5 under after 36 holes, and Jon Rahm, the world's No. 1 player, and several others, didn't make it. Fourth, it may get him some standing whereby he can battle his way back on Tour.

    Keegan Bradley won the Travelers at 23 under par, despite only closing with 68. He was three strokes ahead of Zac Blair, who closed with 64, and Brian Harman, 63. Fourth place Scottie Scheffler shot a Sunday 63, and Patrick Cantlay a 61, but Chez Reavie, who spent a great deal of time at the top of the leader board, dropped to 71. 

    Brett won't be playing in Detroit this week at the $8.8 million Rocket Mortgage Classic unless he tries to Monday qualify again. Tyson Alexander will be the only Gator there after missing the cut at the Travelers, and Hank Lebioda will represent the Seminoles. 

Sunday, June 25, 2023
From Ron Russo, MCGA . . .

  For those of you who have not heard, one of Ocala's golfing icons passed away on June 15 and that icon is Bo WIlliams. There is a service being held on Friday, June 30 at The First Presbyterian Church, 511 SW 3rd St., at 4:00 p. m. I was very fortunate to have a private sit-down interview in 2010 with Bo that I am sharing with you below.

    In 1950, while attending the University of Florida, Reuben Sharp Williams III, better known as "Bo Williams,” needed one more elective and chose golf as part of his Physical Education studies. When he made that decision, little did he know that he would develop a driving love for the game.

    After college it was on to the US Army where Bo spent most of his leisure time honing his golfing skills. He quickly became good enough to win his first title - the club championship at Ft. Jackson, SC. In 1958 Bo moved to Ocala and brought with him the desire and skill which he used to produce a much storied amateur golfing record.

    With his wife Sally at his side, Bo’s golfing achievements were many. He won over 100 tournaments with the most prestigious being the 1986 and 1989 United States Senior Amateur Championships. Also included in the long list of wins are: seven Florida State Championships (three Senior Amateurs, four Senior Four-Ball Championships), 11 Doug Oswald Championships, four Henry Camp Tournaments, and one Marion Masters.

    Bo qualified for, and played in, six USGA Senior Open Championships, making the cut three times. One of Bo’s memorable US Senior Open moments came when he was paired with professionals Orville Moody and Miller Barber. Moody let Bo know that they didn’t like amateurs playing “their game.” Bo quickly eased the tension when he answered back “I’ll tell you what, I'll play all four rounds, and when I leave, I won't take any of your money with me.” 

    Bo’s exceptional golf life culminated in 2006 when he was elected into the Florida State Golf Association Hall of Fame. Even though Bo isn’t able to play the game that once gained him recognition as Golf Digest’s best Senior Amateur Golfer in the country, he can still be seen at one of the local tournaments as a much interested spectator.

Saturday, June 24, 2023
Only Gator of 4 to make the cut . . .

    Four Gators were entered in the $20 million Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut - Tyson Alexander, Brian Gay, Billy Horschel and Brett Stegmaier. Nobody who might have been asked to bet on only one to make the cut would have taken Stegmaier. And how wrong they would have been. 

    Tyson shot 71-79-150 (+10), Gay shot 70-74-144 (+4), Horschel shot 72-71-143 (3 over), and all three missed the 36-hole cut Friday, which came at 4 under par. With rounds of 68-67-135, Stegmaier made it with one to spare.

    Brett, now 39, graduated from the Korn Ferry Tour in 2015 and got to play three years on the PGA Tour with some success, but he lost his card after the 2018 season. He made 40 of 81 cuts, had one second, two top 5s, 3 top 10s, and earned $1,663,352. A Connecticut native, he became an assistant pro at Silver Spring Country Club, just 62 miles from Cromwell. Since 2018, he's only played in one PGA event, the Puerto Rico Open. 

    How did Brett get in the Travelers? He Monday qualified - first of four spots - with a 6-under 66, and he's taking advantage of it. 

    Denny McCarthy and Keegan Bradley are tied for the lead at 15 under par, a tournament record for 36 holes. Rory McIlroy, tied for 10th with 68-64-132, 10 under, made an ace on the 8th hole Thursday, then hit one in the water on the hole Friday and took a double bogey.

    Among those who missed the cut - Jon Rahm, Max Homa, Stewart Cink and Collin Morikawa.

    Eric Cole, who played often in the Ocala Open at Candler Hills, is right in the hunt in fourth place with 64-65-129, 11 under. This is his first year on Tour. His parents are pros Bobby Cole and 70s and 80s glamour girl Laura Baugh.