Tide Men, Women Golfers Are First

It's good to be number one. The Alabama men's and women's golf teams are the top-rated teams among Southeastern Conference squads and after the first day of SEC championship tournaments the Crimson Tide teams both are in first place.

The Alabama men's team shot eight-under-par at Sea Island, Ga., to have a one-stroke lead, while the Crimson Tide women's team was nine-over-par and had a nine-shot lead in Fayetteville, Ark. The 54-hole tournaments will continue through Sunday.

The Bama men shot a team score of 272 on the par-70, 6,898 yard Sea Side Course for a one-shot lead over Georgia. Auburn was third, five strokes out of the lead, with Florida (283) and Kentucky (284) rounding out the top five.

"I am proud of the guys," Alabama Coach Jay Seawell said following Friday's round. "I thought we played a very, very good round and won the day. We played Alabama golf and have the lead after the first round. Bobby (Wyatt) played fantastic all day long and led us. I was proud of him. You could see this round coming in the way he was preparing, I'm just glad it happened today."

Wyatt, a sophomore, carded a blistering 5-under-par 65 to cap off a solid first day for Alabama. Wyatt's round of 65 was the lowest-first-round score, two-shots ahead of five others at 3-under 67. The round of 65 included five birdies and no bogeys.

"I played pretty well and hit it pretty well today," Wyatt said. "I was fortunate to be able to roll some putts in early which kind of got me going. Good way to start things off."

Contributing rounds of 2-under 68 were Justin Thomas and Hunter Hamrick. The rounds of 68 put the two in a tie for seventh going into Saturday's second round.

Also scoring for Alabama was sophomore Cory Whitsett with a 1-over-par 71, while junior Scott Strohmeyer's round of three-over 73 was the Tide's drop score on Friday.

"It is just round one and we need to come out and be great tomorrow," Seawell said. "We have to play up to the standard of Alabama golf and look forward to tomorrow's challenge."

Alabama will be playing with Georgia and Auburn in the second round.

The Crimson Tide women shot 297 in windy and cold conditions on the par-72, 6,112-yard Blessings Golf Club course.

Bama has four players in the top-16 individually. Auburn is in second place at 18-over 306 with Florida is in third (19-over 307) and Georgia in fourth (20-over 308) while host Arkansas and Mississippi are tied for fifth (21-over 309).

"We are where we want to be after the first round," Alabama Coach Mic Potter said. "We made some mistakes, but that is to be expected in weather like this -- a lot of wind and cold. I was happy with how we stayed in the present, played one shot at a time and didn't get frustrated when things went wrong. We were emotionally pretty calm all day and that is what it is going to take out here."

Sophomore Stephanie Meadow paced the Crimson Tide with a 1-under-par round of 71. She had an eventful day with six birdies and five bogeys. Meadow made the turn at 2-under 35 and made birdies on the 11th and the 16th to go along with bogeys on the 10th, 15th and 18th. She is two shots off the lead of Auburn's Patricia Sanz and Georgia's Marta Silva Zamora.

"It was a really solid round," Potter said of Meadow's 71. "I expected that she would play well here. It is a point A to point B kind of golf course, which is her expertise."

Senior Brooke Pancake is close behind in a tie for sixth after shooting a 1-over 73. She opened her round with 14 consecutive pars before a bogey on No. 15. Pancake got back to even with a birdie on the par-3 17th, but need two attempts out of the sand on the 18th and made bogey.

Junior Jennifer Kirby shot 4-over 76 and is tied for 11th after 18 holes of play while sophomore Hannah Collier is tied for 16th at 5-over 77. Johanna Tillström's 7-over 79 was dropped from the Alabama score. She is tied for 28th.

The Crimson Tide will play with Auburn and Florida in Saturday's second round.

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