JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (September 13, 2003) - Florida's James Vargas and Camilo Villegas shot 4-under and 5-under, respectively, helping the Gators to a six-stroke lead over Texas Christian after Saturday play at the sixth annual Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at the Ridges. TCU is a two-time champion of the BOT Intercollegiate, while the Gators are making their second appearance in the event.
The second round was halted due to darkness with several groups still on the course, and the final round of play will begin Sunday after those groups finish with their suspended rounds. On the individual leaderboard, Wake Forest's Bill Haas led at 9-under, while Tennessee's John Scott Rattan finished three strokes back at 6-under. Both Haas and Rattan did not finish their rounds.
While Villegas ended the day with a one-stroke advantage over Vargas and is currently third on the leaderboard, Vargas' day was by far the most interesting of the field. A hole-in-one on No. 3 was the highlight, but additional eagles on the Par 4 first hole and the Par 5 fourth were critical to Florida's charge.
Still, Vargas was somewhat critical of his play.
"The bottom line is I finished at 4-under," said Vargas, who also struggled with seven bogeys and one double bogey. "It's kind of disappointing because when you have things like that happen (the hole-in-one and the additional two eagles), you're supposed to go really low."
While the Gators and Texas Christian tried to pull away from the field, home-standing East Tennessee State struggled through the day. Junior Cennydd Mills (Cardiff, Wales) led the Bucs by finishing tied for 10th at 1-under (68-75=143), while freshmen Rhys Davies (Bridgend, Wales) and Stephen Arnold (Langhorne, Penn.), as well as sophomores Noel Kavanagh (Westport, Ireland) and Chase Baldwin (Plant City, Fla.) struggled to find their games.
"I gave myself some chances, but I just couldn't seem to hit a putt," Mills said of his second round. "I just didn't capitalize, but I played well all summer and I'm confident in my game right now. The team just struggled. I think having two freshmen playing in their first college tournament, there might have been some nerves there."
For complete results and tee times for Sunday play, please visit golfstat.com.