Tide Men, Women Golfers Win Honors

There were a lot of good reasons that Alabama's women's golf team won the national championship, as signified with three players earning first team All-America and Mic Potter earning Golfweek National Coach of the Year. And the Crimson Tide men's team had four players earn All-America honors as Bama was runner up for the 2012 NCAA title.

Prior to Potter's arrival for the 2005-06 season, Alabama had never had a first-team All-America in women's golf. Since the time Jenny Suh (2006), Brooke Pancake (2011) and Stephanie Meadow (2011) were the only players to garner first-team recognition. However, the trio of Pancake, Meadow and Jennifer Kirby equaled that number for just the 2011-12 season.

Potter, who won the Eaton Golf Pride NGCA National Coach of the Year immediately following the NCAA Championship, was also recognized for his team's efforts by Golfweek. He just completed his seventh year at Alabama and his 29th in collegiate golf with his first national championship.

The NGCA Hall of Fame member has also captured a SEC Championship (2010) and a NCAA Regional title (2011) at Alabama while qualifying for the NCAA Championships in each of his seven years at The Capstone. In all, Potter has taken 22 teams to the NCAA Championships while recording nine top-10 NCAA finishes. He has coached 29 NGCA All-Americas and 54 all-conference selections.

Pancake, a native of Chattanooga, Tenn., saw her Alabama career cumulate in the school's first national championship in women's golf. Her four-foot par putt on the 18th hole secured the one-stroke victory for the Crimson Tide. She is a three-time All-America, twice garnering first team honors. She finished with a 73.08 career scoring average and led the team in 2011-12 with a 72.52 stroke average.

Kirby, who was also a first-team All-America by the NGCA, was also recognized by Golfweek. Kirby finished tied for 14th at the 2012 NCAA Championship and has two top-15 finishes in three NCAA Championship appearances (tied for seventh in 2010). She won her first career tournament title at the 20120 Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic. The native of Paris, Ontario, Canada, posted a 72.61 scoring average as a junior with five top-10 finishes.

Meadow, from Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, becomes a two-time first-team All-America with her Golfweek selection. She was a first-team pick in 2011 as a true freshman and a second-team pick by the NGCA in 2012. Meadow finished the 2011-12 season with a 72.94 scoring average and two tournament victories to eclipse the Alabama career record for wins with five.

Alabama has now won 14 Golf week All-America honors by six different players in Potter's seventh-year tenure with the Crimson Tide. That list includes five first-team selections, one second-team pick, four third-team choices and four players on the honorable mention team.

On the men's side, Justin Thomas was first-team selection by both Golfweek and the team released by PING and the National Golf Coaches Association while Cory Whitsett was a second-team choice in both Golfweek and PING. Bobby Wyatt was named a second-team All-America by Golfweek and a third-team choice by PING. Hunter Hamrick became a three-time All-America after Golfweek placed him on its honorable mention team.

Thomas led Alabama with a 70.44 scoring average (.89 below par) and ranked first nationally in the final Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. He also won the Jack Nicklaus Award and the Haskins Award, both of which go to the top player in collegiate golf. Thomas is the second Alabama golfer to earn first-team All-America honors as a true freshman, joining Bud Cauley in 2009, and the first Tide player to win National Player of the Year honors.

Whitsett, who finished the year ranked 13th in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, won twice, capturing the Western Refining All-America Classic and the Linger Longer Invitational. He recorded five top-five finishes and a scoring average of 71.38. Whitsett was also a second-team All-America as a freshman by both PING and Golfweek.

Wyatt, a native of Mobile, had six top-five finishes in 11 starts as a sophomore in 2011-12. He ranked second on the team with a 71.70 scoring average and posted runner-up finishes at both the SEC Championships and the NCAA Athens Regional. Wyatt was 18th in the final Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.

Hunter Hamrick, a four-year letterman from Montgomery, averaged 72.36 strokes per round as a senior and finished in the top 10 five times. He shot 16 rounds of par or better and went 2-0-1 in match play at the NCAA Championships.

Hamrick finished his Alabama career sixth in career scoring average at 72.64 while his 59 rounds at par or better is a Crimson Tide record. He also ranked second in career rounds (141) and tied for second in tournaments played (48). Along with three medalist honors, Hamrick recorded 10 career top-five finishes and 25 top-20 finishes.

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