Tide Men's Golf Plays For National Title

HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Alabama advanced to its third straight NCAA Championships Finals with a 4-1 win over No. 3-seeded LSU Tuesday afternoon the par-70, 6,941-yard Prairie Dunes Country Club.

"What a great day for our team and for our program," Alabama Coach Jay Seawell said. "Really proud of all five of these guys. It's a big deal to get a chance to play for a national championship, and to be able to be in that final match three straight years, I'm really proud of them.

"I think it's a credit to our seniors, Cory (Whitsett), Bobby (Wyatt) and Trey (Mullinax). They came to school here to do things like this. They are the engine. They are the energy that allows us to do that, and with that being said, I'm just really proud for them."

The Crimson Tide received match-play wins in the semifinals from Bobby Wyatt (3 and 2), Robby Shelton (2 and 1), Trey Mullinax (4 and 2) and Tom Lovelady was 1 up on the 17th when Mullinax secured the Tide's third point. Alabama will face second-ranked and fourth-seeded Oklahoma State in Wednesday's NCAA Finals that will tee off at 2:10 p.m. (CDT) live on The Golf Channel. The Cowboys defeated No.1 seed Stanford 3-2 in the semifinals.

"It's extremely exciting for us," Alabama senior Bobby Wyatt said. "It's a big moment, the biggest stage in college golf, and to be able to come back to it for a third time is something we're very proud and excited. I've played a lot of golf rounds in my life, and these are the two in the past two years that have stuck out in my mind more than any of them. It's the most fun, it's the most intense pressure, it's the most emotional day in my golf career, and I'm really excited we get to do it one more time."

Wyatt went off first once again and never trailed, earning a 3 and 2 win by halving the 16th hole with par against the Tiger's Ben Taylor. Wyatt, from Mobile,is now 5-2-1 in eight career NCAA match-play rounds. Mullinax, from Birmingham, Ala., went out fourth for the Crimson Tide and was in control after taking a 1-up lead on the seventh. He closed out LSU's Curtis Thompson with a birdie on the 16th.

Shelton, a true freshman from Wilmer, fell 1 down on two occasions on the front side but fought back each time by winning the next hole. He took his first lead with a birdie on the par-4 ninth and got to 2 up on the 10th. LSU's Stewart Jolly responded by winning the 11th and 13th holes. Shelton won the 14th only to fall back to all square with a missed par putt on 15.

The defining moment of the Tide's semifinal match came on the 16th hole where Jolly had 15-foot birdie putt and Shelton was off the green with a wedge in his hand. The freshman came through once again by chipping in and winning the hole as Jolly left his putt an inch shy of the hole. Shelton then reached the par 5 17th green in two and two-putted for birdie and the 2 and 1 win.

Lovelady was 1 up with the advantage in the 17th fairway when the match ended. Cory Whitsett was 1 down on the 16th when Mullinax earned the third point.

Alabama will stay with the same line of Wyatt, Shelton, Lovelady, Mullinax and Whitsett. Oklahoma State will counter with Talor Gooch, Zachary Olsen, Wyndham Clark, Ian Davis and Jordan Neibrugge.

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