Whitsett Headlines Men's Golf Honors
Whitsett, from Houston, Texas, was one of three golfers to share the Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award while Alabama Coach Jay Seawell captured his third SEC Coach of the Year honor and second straight.
Seawell's Crimson Tide team won its second consecutive SEC Championship and has equaled the school record with six tournament victories this season. The Tide is ranked second nationally in both the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and the Golf World/Nike Coaches' Poll.
Alabama had three players named first-team All-SEC, including Whitsett, sophomore Justin Thomas, and junior Bobby Wyatt. Trey Mullinax, another junior, was named second-team All-SEC, giving the Tide a league-best four All-SEC performers. No other school had more than two players combined on the first and second teams.
"It is great to see our players honored for what they have accomplished both on and off the course this season," Seawell said. "This team enjoys playing together and has really been able to focus on what they needed to do on every shot, which has allowed us to have a tremendous amount of team and individual success."
Whitsett is the fourth Crimson Tide player to win SEC Player of the Year honors. Steve Lowery won-back-to-back awards in 1982 and 1983. Michael Thompson won in 2008 and Thomas was honored last season. Whitsett is just the second UA player (Joseph Sykora, 2006-08) to win the Scholar-Athlete Award and boasts a 4.0 grade-point average in management.
It is the third straight year for Whitsett to earn first-team All-SEC honors after being named SEC Freshman of the Year in 2011. The two-time All-America becomes just the third Alabama player to earn first-team All-SEC honors three times, joining Lowery (1981-83) and Cauley (2009-11). He leads the SEC and ranks eighth nationally in scoring average at 70.84.
Wyatt, a native of Mobile, was also named to the SEC's first team for the second straight year after earning second-team honors in 2011. He is ranked sixth in Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and is third on the team and fourth in the SEC with a 71.46 scoring average. He has five top-five finishes this season and seven top-10 showings in 10 events.
Thomas, from Goshen, Ky., was the consensus National Collegiate Player of the Year as a freshman in 2012. He is now a two-time first-team All-SEC choice and is second on the Tide squad with a 71.16 scoring average that ranks 16th nationally. He is also ranked eighth in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
Mullinax, from Birmingham, was recognized by league coaches for the first time, being selected to the second team. He was fourth on the team with a 72.55 scoring average and 31st in the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
Over the past seven years under Seawell's guidance, Alabama boasts eight players that have earned 15 first-team All-SEC citations.
Alabama will learn its NCAA Regional destination on Monday and begin play on Thursday, May 16, at one of six regional locations.
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