The Gators shot a team score of 286 (+6) and are in a four-way tie for 8th as one-five strokes separate teams 3-5 as only two teams are under par – Texas (-4) and Georgia Tech (-3).
It is a staked field and one of the top tournaments all season with the last five programs to win the NCAA Championship, 11 of the 15 teams playing in last year’s nationals and seven of the eight quarterfinalists in match play at the 2023 NCAA Championship all in this weekend’s event.
Kress regrouped from an early bogey with three straight birdies on holes 13-15, featuring a par-3, 4 and 5. He made two more on the front (the Gators teed off the back nine) to total five and in a tie for sixth-place behind his 2-under 68 opening round. The sophomore was one of 14 golfers to shoot in the 60’s in round one.
The lineup also featured a trio of debuts for the Orange and Blue. In the No. 2 spot, Ian Gilligan made his Gators debut after spending the last two seasons at Long Beach State. The junior shot a round of 73 (+3). Tied with him in 42nd is redshirt-freshman Luke Poulter, who made his collegiate debut today. Freshman Jack Turner joined Poulter making his first collegiate appearance as he finished with a 77 (+7).
Making his first start in the No. 1 spot, Parker Bell only carded two bogeys across the first set of 18 for a round of 72 (+2) and is tied for 35th.
Florida tees off round two tomorrow at 9 a.m. ET.