"Not me," said Robert, who has been unattached since he arrived at Florida. "The only thing I'll get up for in the morning is golf. My dad had some playboy in him, and we're similar like that. I guess I need a little taming down."
Their academic goals are clearly different. Josh, who has a 3.10 GPA, plans to stay at Florida for four years and earn a business degree. Neither Josh's uncle Mark nor his father, Jim, who serves as Mark's business agent and as president of McCumber Golf, a course-design firm, went to college. Josh wants to be the first male McCumber to get a college degree.
Ray Floyd dropped out of North Carolina after one semester, and Robert, who has a 2.56 GPA, isn't gung ho about getting a degree or being in Gainesville. Last fall he was the typical homesick freshman. The Floyds are a close-knit family, and Robert misses the comforts of his folks' mansion in Miami Beach. At least once a day he speaks to his mother, Maria, and his father. "I miss my bed, my shower, our Jet Ski," he says. "Mostly, I miss Mom's spaghetti and tomato sauce. If the University of Miami had a golf team, I'd be there in a flash and living at home."
One thing Josh and Robert do share is an intimate familiarity with the PGA Tour. Like Josh's family, Mark McCumber's clan lives in Jacksonville, and Josh and Mark are particularly close. They even share a swing teacher, Mike Blackburn, who runs the McCumber Golf School. "I've always looked over Josh," says Mark. "I've gotten him equipment, let him caddie for me in Tour events. We used to play together in the father-child tournament at the Disney Classic."
Though Robert has never caddied for his dad, he has played with him in a few tournaments. Robert was in Ray's group in the 1994 Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Last March, Robert competed in the Doral-Ryder Open on a sponsor's exemption. He shot an eight-over-par 77-75-152 to miss the cut by four shots, while Ray, after sharing the first-round lead, finished 13th. Doral gave Robert another sponsor's exemption to compete in this week's Doral. He has high expectations. "I'm gunning for a top-10 finish," he says.
Robert arrived at Florida as the country's No. 1-ranked junior, and last fall he was named the AJGA's Male Junior Co-Player of the Year. Josh had had a solid if unspectacular junior career, with only one national title. In the past six months their fortunes have flipped. Robert started preseason with a bout of the flu and bronchitis, and he had only one top-20 finish in four fall events. His dad helped him make some swing adjustments over Christmas break, and his game and confidence are on the mend. Two weeks ago he had his best college result, a tie for eighth in the Gator Invitational.
Josh has been the biggest surprise in college golf. In eight events he has five top-10 finishes for the 11th-ranked Gators. He has been a runner-up twice, his 71.7 stroke average is tops on the team, and, most impressive, he's the fifth-ranked collegian in the U.S. "My hours of work are paying dividends," says Josh, whose younger brother Kort, a high school senior, has received golf scholarship offers from several schools, including Florida. "I'm getting to the next level and making a name for myself for the first time."
Coach Alexander knows it's not yet time to get excited. His father, Skip, a Tour player in the late 1940s and early '50s, won three events and earned two Ryder Cup berths in just four years before plane-crash injuries ended his career. Buddy played the Tour for a few years in the early 1980s but, like most golfing offspring, failed to live up to his legacy.
"The determination of these two kids is mind-boggling," he says. "Robert's got his dad's fire, and Josh has Mark's intense work ethic. For now, I couldn't be more pleased. But what happens in the future, only time will tell."