Men's Golf Team Opens In Puerto Rico

The Perry Brothers, Gaylord and Jim, ruined a great baseball trivia question. Years ago the question was which brother combination had the most pitching victories in major league history. In those days, most would guess the Dean brothers, Dizzy (150) and Paul (50).

The answer before the 1970s was Christy Matthewson and his brother Henry. Christy had 373 wins. Henry was 0-1 in his major league career. But, alas, the Perry brothers had 529, Gaylord 314 and Jim 215, ruining a wicked little quiz.

That piece of trivia came to mind when Alabama Men's Golf Coach Jay Seawell pointed out that Alabama has the nation's best college golf program.

Alabama's women's team is ranked first in all college polls.

But the men's team is no Henry Matthewson. The Crimson Tide men's team is ranked fourth in the nation and has high aspirations.

Ironically, Bama's men's team gets it season started this weekend where the Crimson Tide women are coming off an excellent victory, in Puerto Rico. Bama will play in the Puerto Rico Classic on the River Course at the Rio Mar Beach Resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Play will be Sunday-Tuesday and four of the nation's top six teams are participating.

"We had a very successful fall season," Seawell said. Alabama won two prestigious tournaments, the Carpet Capital Collegiate at The Farm in Rocky Face, Ga., and the Isleworth Collegiate in Windermere, Fla.

"We learned how to win, and we learned from when we didn't win," Seawell said.

Although both fall and spring results factor into golf rankings, Seawell said, "The spring is championship season."'

The coach said, "We have the talent to contend as the SEC and NCAA tournaments. I like my team."

Like it he should. It is led by two-time All-America and Hogan Award finalist Bud Cauley, a junior who has played 70 competitive rounds for Alabama and averaged 71.71 strokes per round. He has won three tournaments.

Another junior, Hunter Hamrick, is a returning All-America who has also won three tournaments at Bama.

Much of the attention is on what Seawell calls the Freshmen Phenoms, Bobby Wyatt and Cory Whitsett.

Wyatt, who Seawell said is known to his teammates as "Mr. 57" and "Heinz 57," is well known for his extraordinary score of 57 en route to winning his fourth 2010 Alabama Boys State Championships at the Country Club of Mobile. In the fall he led the Tide in scoring average at 71.

Whitsett, a foremr U.S. Junior Amateur champion, had a 72 average in the fall.

Alabama's fifth starter could come from the likes of freshman Trey Mullinax, sophomores Lee Knox and Scott Strohmeyer, junior Hunter Slatton, and senior Phillip Weaver.

Alabama has three golfers ranked among the nation's top 45 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Wyatt is number 7, Cauley number 34, and Whitsett number 43. Hamrick is just outside the top 100 at 111.

Seawell, in his ninth season as Alabama's coach, has taken the Tide to the NCAA Tournament seven times and advanced to the chamnpionships four times. His 2008 team won the SEC Championship.

He and his players begin another championship quest this weekend.

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