Tide Golf Tops After NCAA Medal Play

Alabama hasn't won anything yet, but the Crimson Tide golf team of Coach Jay Seawell is in position for the NCAA national championship after finishing first in medal play.

Alabama had a three-over-par round of 285 Thursday for a seven-over-par total of 859 to finish on top of the stroke play portion of the NCAA Championship Tournament at Rivera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The 7,292-yard course plays at par 71.

Alabama fell behind early in the final round, but rallied to beat UCLA by two strokes after the Bruins shot a one-over-par 285 on Thursday. The Bruins finished at 861, plus 9.

Alabama Coach Jay Seawell said, "Once again they did what they have done all year long. When someone pulled up beside them or got in front of them, they played some serious golf.

"They are winners. I don't know what it is but they get a look in their eye, and I love when they get that look in their eye.

"I'm really proud to be the No. 1 seed – it is a big deal."

Alabama, ranked second in the nation, does not yet know its opponent for the first round, which will begin at noon CDT Friday. Kent State and Florida State tied for eighth at plus 23 and will have a playoff Friday morning.

Sophomore Cory Whitsett led the Crimson Tide individually with a tie for fourth at 1-under-par 212. He shot even-par 71 in the third round. Freshman Justin Thomas shot 2-over-par 73 on Thursday to finish tied for seventh at even-par 213.

Senior Hunter Hamrick played his final stroke play round at Alabama in 1-under-par 70 to pace UA in the final round. He birdied the 16th and 17th holes to earn a tie for 22nd at 3-over-par 216. Bobby Wyatt shot 2-over 73 Thursday while Scott Strohmeyer carded a 75.

Hamrick, the team's only senior, said, "It was great to be able to go out there and play like that in my last stroke play college round. It was a lot of fun making birdie on 16 and 17. It will be a good memory."

In addition to Alabama and UCLA, the final eight will include top-ranked Texas (plus 17) as third seed, No. 3 California (plus 19) at fourth seed, 10th ranked San Diego State (plus 19) as fifth seed, number eight Washington (plus 20) as sixth seed, and seventh ranked Oregon (plus 21) as the seventh seed.

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