Tide Golfers Win Major Tournament

WINDERMERE, Fla. – The Alabama men's golf team held off a highly-ranked field on Tuesday to capture the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational at the par-72, 7,544-yard Isleworth Country Club.

Including Alabama, the 2010 Isleworth Collegiate Invitational featured six of the nation's top-10 teams in the Nike Coaches' Poll, including No. 1 Oklahoma State and No. 2 Florida. The fourth-ranked Crimson Tide finished at 20-over-par 884 to edge No. 21 LSU by two strokes while the Gators and fifth-ranked Stanford finished tied for third at 30-over-par 894. TCU and top-ranked OSU finished tied for fifth at 31-over 895.

"The golf course was extremely hard," Crimson Tide Coach Jay Seawell said. "The winds blew and the greens were very fast and firm. It was a tough test of golf for everyone. I was proud of how the guys hung in there all day. Our lead was cut to one several times, and I was proud of how the guys made some birdies down the stretch to help us secure the victory."

Alabama shot its highest round of the three-day tournament in winds that gusted over 20 mph, carding a 13-over-par 301, on a day that teams averaged over 304 strokes per round. The Tide carded rounds of 291 and 292 in the on the first two days of the tournament.

It is the second tournament win of the fall for a Crimson Tide, who also captured the Carpet Capital Collegiate, and have not finished outside of the top four in any of their four events this season. It marks the first time Alabama has won the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational and the 17th tournament title since Jay Seawell took over the UA program in the fall of 2002.

"We have a goal that we want to be in the conversation as the best team in the country," Seawell said following Tuesday's victory. "Everybody says they want to do something, so when you have the opportunity, you have to go out and prove it. That is what we wanted to do this week; we wanted to go up against a great field and prove we are in the conversation of the great teams in college golf. By winning I think we have done that. I think we have given ourselves the confidence that we can play with anybody."

True freshman Cory Whitsett paced the Alabama attack, finishing tied for fifth individually with a 54-hole total of 2-over-par 218. Whitsett shot a 1-over 73 in difficult conditions during Tuesday's final round. Fellow freshman Bobby Wyatt posted UA's next-best finish at 7-over-par 223 after a 2-over 74 in the third round. Juniors Bud Cauley and Hunter Hamrick both finished tied for 21st at 8-over-par 224. Cauley shot a 5-over 77 in the final round while Hamrick carded a 79. Sophomore Scott Strohmeyer finished two shots back of Cauley and Hamrick in a tie for 26th at 10-over-par 226 with a final-round 77. The Isleworth Collegiate Invitational concluded the fall schedule for the Crimson Tide. Alabama's next tournament will be the Puerto Rico Classic on February 20-22, 2011.

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