Tide Men's Golf Falters At NCAA

STILLWATER, Okla. – A stiff wind turned the third round of the NCAA Championships at the Karsten Creek Golf Club into a nightmare for the third-seeded Alabama men's golf team on Thursday.

With the top eight teams following Thursday round advancing into match play, Alabama entered the round in fifth place with a 10-shot lead over the eighth-place team. A season-high round of 316 (+28), that saw four of the Tide's five players either match or set their season-high scores, left UA in 14th place at 32-over 896 and on the outside looking in on the match play pairings.

"It was just a nightmare day," Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said following the round. "In my wildest dreams I didn't think we would play like this. We were right there at the beginning, and we did not play well today, so I'll take the blame for that. We will get better because of it. It was one of those days that you wish you would never have, but you have to learn from it. Our team has to learn how to manage adversity. Our program will become better because of this."

Junior Hunter Hamrick once again proved to be the bright spot for the Crimson Tide. Diagnosed with mononucleosis earlier in the week, Hamrick was not expected to play on Thursday after checking out of the hospital at 11 a.m. However, when his 12:40 p.m. tee time rolled around, Hamrick was on the tee and ready to grind it out. He finished with a team-low 4-over-par 76.

"The first round, after I had spent the night in the hospital, there was no doubt I was going to tee it up. This morning there was a little doubt in my mind on whether I was going to be able to go or not. The first morning I felt bad, but I had the energy. Today I just did not feel like I had it in me. Something out of my control gave me a little energy about 20 minutes before I teed off. I got off to a good start, but I just could not hold on. I didn't have the gas to finish it out; I wish I could have. I guess some things are just out of your control."

Hamrick, a native of Montgomery, was the Tide's low-scorer with a 54-hole total of 5-over-par 221. He carded rounds of 71, 74 and 76 to finish tied for 29th.

"We are going to model this program after him," Seawell said. "He was not supposed to play golf today. He has full-blown mono and he was in the hospital until 11 o'clock this morning. At noon, I didn't think he was going to go. What a guy with a great heart. This program needs to be, and will be represented by that. I am very proud of him."

Bobby Wyatt's 78 was Alabama's No. 2 score. Wyatt got off to a bad start with two double bogeys and a bogey on his first four holes, but the Moblie native shot just 1-over par the rest of the way to finish in a tie for 66th at 226

Junior Bud Cauley, who is turning pro following the NCAA Championships, shot a season-high 9-over-par 81. He entered the round in a tie for 11th place and finished the day in 50th. Freshman Cory Whitsett, who had not shot worse than 75 all season, carded an 81 as well to slip into a tie for 56th at 9-over 225. Freshman Trey Mullinax equaled his season high with his second 84 of the week, finishing at 248 in a tie for 148th position.

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