Seven Tide Golfers Play In Jones Cup

Alabama sophomore golf star Justin Thomas will attempt to defend the title he won last year in the prestigious Jones Cup Invitational at Sea Island, Ga., but to do it he'll have to defeat some of the finest amateur golfers in the nation – including six of his own teammates.

The Jones Cup Invitational is this weekend at Ocean Forest Golf Club in Sea Island, Ga. The event boasts 90 outstanding amateur golfers for the invitation-only event.

Thomas won the event last year with an even-par total of 216. It will be the third start in the Jones Cup Invitational for the 2012 National Collegiate Player of the Year, who averaged 70.4 strokes per round in five fall events (including winning the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate).

Also participating from Coach Jay Seawell's Alabama team will be All-America players Cory Whitsett and Bobby Wyatt, along with Lee Knox, Trey Mullinax, Tom Loveland, and Dru Love.

The 54-hole tournament was to begin Friday and conclude Sunday.

Whitsett will be each making his fifth appearance in the tournament, after competing in the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 editions of the event. Whitsett finished tied for 24th in 2009, tied for seventh in 2010, tied for 39th in 2011 and tied for 12th last year.

Wyatt will be each making his fourth appearance at Ocean Forest, after finishing tied for fifth in the 2010 tournament, tied for 16th in 2011 and tied for fifth again in 2012. Knox is making his third appearances in the Jones Cup Invitational. Love is making his second start in his hometown event while Lovelady and Mullinax are making their first appearances.

Additionally, former Crimson Tide golfers Michael Thompson and Gator Todd finished tied for third and tied for seventh, respectively, in the 2007 Jones Cup Invitational. Bud Cauley finished third in 2011, missing out on a playoff by one shot.

The Rees Jones designed Ocean Forest Golf Club, which opened in 1995 and has hosted the 1998 Georgia State Amateur Championship, the 1999 Southern Amateur Championship and the 2001 Walker Cup Matches. The Jones Cup Invitational brings together many of the finest amateurs from the United States and abroad for this three-day competition.

The Alabama golf team will begin the 2012 portion of its schedule on Feb. 17-19, at the Puerto Rico Classic at the Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

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