Tide Men's Golf In Tie For Second
Alabama made the turn in the lead at 5-under par on the par-72, 7,436-yard University Club, but a 13-over-par total on the back nine left Alabama in a tie for second place with South Alabama. Florida has the first-round lead at 2-under-par 286. Houston and Tennessee are tied for fourth at 12-over-par 300. Coastal Carolina is one position out of qualifying for NCAAs at 14-over 302.
The top five teams at the end of 54 holes will advance to the NCAA Championships on May 28-June 2 on the Crabapple Course at the Capital City Club in Woodstock, Ga.
We got off to a great start," Crimson Tide Coach Jay Seawell said. "The wind picked up and the course starting playing much more difficult and we just didn't handle it the way we should. We hand to count a few doubles and a quad coming in and that kind of changed our score."
Senior Scott Strohmeyer paced the Alabama attack on Thursday with a 2-under-par round of 70 that leaves him in a three-way tie for the lead with Florida's Tyler McCumber and T.J. Vogel. Strohmeyer, from Auburn, actually got to 5-under par through 11 holes before three bogeys down the stretch left him at 2-under 70. He made birdie on the third, fourth, sixth 10th and 11th holes with bogeys on the 13th, 14th and 16th.
"Scott really stepped up with a big round today; he played great," Seawell said. "He posted one of the low scores of the day and was really solid all day. Every time I turned around he was hitting a good shot, even got it to 5-under par. The golf course is really hard and for him to be under par gives the whole team confidence. It was a great senior leadership day."
Sophomore Justin Thomas was steady throughout his round and posted a 1-over-par 73. He is tied for eighth after recording three birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey.
Juniors Bobby Wyatt and Cory Whitsett were the real victims of the back nine on Thursday. Wyatt, from Mobile, Ala., was 3-under at the turn before making bogey on the 11th, double bogey on the 12th, birdie on the 15th and closing bogey, double bogey, bogey on the 16th, 17th and 18th holes for a 3-over 75 and is tied for 20th.
Whitsett, a native of Houston, Texas, was even par through 11 holes. His trouble began with back-to-back-to-back bogeys on holes 12, 13 and 14. However, the real trouble came with a quadruple bogey on the par-4, 365-yard 15th hole. He bounced back with a birdie on the difficult par-3 16th hole to finish with a 78. Whitsett is tied for 49th. Trey Mullinax shot 10-over 82 and is tied for 66th.
Alabama will tee off at 9:10 a.m. on Friday in the second round of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional. The Crimson Tide will be paired with Florida and South Alabama in round two.
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