Alabama Men's Golf Opens NCAA Play Friday

HUTCHINSON, Kan. –The top-ranked Alabama men's golf team begins defense of its NCAA Championship Friday at the par-70, 6,948-yard Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan.

Alabama is the top seed at the 2014 NCAA Championships and is slated to tee off at 12:20 p.m. (CDT). Alabama will play the first two days with No. 2-seed Oklahoma State and No. 3-seed Stanford.

The Crimson Tide is making its seventh trip to NCAAs in the last eight years and its eighth under the guidance of Coach Jay Seawell. It is also the Crimson Tide's 16th overall visit to the NCAA Championships dating back to the 1971 season.

There will be three rounds of stroke play for the 30-team field with a cut to eight teams after 54 holes. Those eight teams will begin three rounds of match play for the national title (1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, 4 vs. 5) on May 27. There will also be a fourth round for the top 40 individuals on Monday, May 26, to determine the NCAA Individual Champion.

The Tide is making its fourth straight NCAA Championships appearance, which marks a school record. Alabama won its first NCAA Championship last year by defeating Illinois 4-1 in the match-play finals. The Tide finished first in the stroke-play portion of the 2012 NCAA Championships before posting a runner-up showing in match play, losing to Texas by one shot on the final hole.

In 2014, UA features National Player of the Year candidates in true freshman Robby Shelton, senior Bobby Wyatt and senior Trey Mullinax along with three-time All-American Cory Whitsett. UA has a school-record four first-team All-SEC selections in Shelton, Whitsett, Wyatt and Mullinax. Sophomore Tom Lovelady, fresh off a tie for third at the NCAA Auburn Regional, rounds out the Tide lineup. Alabama has four players in the top 30 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and five in the top 80. Shelton leads the way at No. 2, followed by Wyatt at No. 7, Mullinax at No. 8, Whitsett at No. 29 and Lovelady at 80.

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