Tide Golf, Cauley Lead In Puerto Rico

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – Alabama's fourth ranked men's golf team shot its second straight round of 7-under-par 281 on Monday to move into a tie for first place after two rounds of the Puerto Rico Classic on the par-72, 6,902-yard River Course at the Rio Mar Beach Resort.

Alabama's 14-under-par total of 562 equals first-round leader Georgia Tech, who shot a 4-under 284 on Monday. No. 1 Oklahoma State is six strokes back at 8-under-par 568 after a 3-under 285 in round two. Virginia Tech remains in fourth place at 3-under-par 573 with Oklahoma in fifth at even-par 576.

UA junior Bud Cauley also moved to the top of the individual leader board with a 4-under round of 68. The native of Jacksonville, Fla., holds a one stroke lead over OSU's Morgan Hoffmann at 7-under-par 137. Hoffmann shot a tournament-low 67 on Monday with a backside 30.

Alabama will tee off its final round at 5:30 a.m. (CST) on the River Course and will play with Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech for the second straight day on Tuesday.

Alabama has three players in the top five with freshmen Bobby Wyatt and Trey Mullinax tied for fifth at 4-under-par 140. Hunter Hamrick is five shots behind them in a tie for 22nd at 1-over 145.

Cauley opened with back-to-back birdies on holes three and four before a bogey on No. 9 left him at 1-under on the front nine. A birdie on the par-3 10th hole quickly got him back to 2-under par before driving the 289-yard, par-4 13th hole and making the putt to record an eagle two. He then made bogey on No. 14 and birdie on No. 16 to close his round.

Mullinax, a true freshman from Gardendale, carded his second-career round in the 60s with a 3-under-par 69 in Monday's second round. He notched an eagle on the par-5, 544-yard 15th hole, four birdies and three bogeys in his round.

Wyatt, who shot 69 on Sunday, overcame a double bogey on the 16th hole to remain among the leaders. He shot even-par 36 on the front side with one birdie and one bogey, but carded three birdies on the back nine, including one on either side of his double bogey.

Freshman Cory Whitsett shot a 75 in Monday's second round and is tied for 40th position after an even-par 72 in round one.

Georgia is the only other Southeastern Conference team in the 15-team field and is seventh after 36 holes at 4-over-par 580.

It was also announced that Alabama golfers Bud Cauley and Bobby Wyatt have been named to the 2011 watch list for the prestigious Ben Hogan Award presented by Baird Private Wealth Management, in association with Colonial Country Club, The Friends of Golf (FOG) and the Golf Coaches Association of America.

The award is presented annually to the top men's NCAA Division I, II or III, NAIA or NJCAA college golfer, taking into account all collegiate and amateur competitions during a 12-month period. Cauley and Wyatt are part of a 26-player watch list that includes Georgia's Russell Henley, NCAA medalist Scott Langley of Illinois and U.S Amateur Champion Peter Uihlein of Oklahoma State and runner-up David Chung of Stanford.

Cauley, who was a finalist for last year's Hogan Award and a semifinalist in 2009, has finished in the top 10 three times this season and currently leads the Puerto Rico Classic going into Tuesday's final round. He boasts a crisp 71.17 stroke average and is currently ranked No. 35 the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Cauley finished tied for third at the acclaimed Jones Cup Invitational on Feb. 7 and fifth at the Southern Amateur Championship at Shoal Creek in Birmingham on July 16, 2010. The two-time first-team All-SEC selection was also selected to play in last year's Nationwide Tour's Children's Hospital Invitational in July.

Wyatt, who burst onto the national scene with a 57 in the first round of the 2010 Alabama Boys State Junior Championship, leads Alabama with a 70.86 stroke average, having finished tied for second, fourth, 16th and tied for 16th in the Crimson Tide's four fall tournaments. Wyatt also finished tied for 16th at the Jones Cup Invitational and is currently ranked No. 6 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.

The Hogan Award semifinalists will be announced April 14. The three finalists will be invited to Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, for the Hogan Award presentation on the evening of May 16.

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