Alabama finished the two-day, 54-hole event with a team score of 10-under 830 (268-285-277), 13-strokes ahead of second place No. 4 Florida State (843). It marked the third consecutive Jerry Pate Intercollegiate title for the Crimson Tide, and the team’s seventh overall title of the annual event.
Alabama held the 36-hole lead at last week’s Shoal Creek Intercollegiate and the Carpet Capital Classic on Sept. 5-7 before stumbling down the stretch in both tournaments. However, the Tide was steady throughout Tuesday’s final round, showing the team had grown together and learned from previous mistakes, according to Alabama head coach Jay Seawell.
“I'm really proud of the guys,” Seawell said. “Last week we had a chance to win, but we couldn't finish. I thought they did a really good job with responding to that. The preparation is where you win. With today, you didn't know how they would handle this. To win the day and be the low scorer of the day after that last week, really makes a coach proud.”
Junior Tom Lovelady carded a career-low 18-hole mark of 6-under 64 to finish tied for the low individual score on Tuesday’s round. As a result of his performance, the Alabama golfers closed the day at 3-under par, which led all teams on the day. Lovelady closed play with an even-par total of 210 (76-70-64) to finish tied for eighth overall.
“I am really proud of the way Tom played,” Seawell said. “He’s our captain and our leader and he responded to that well today. He stepped up when we needed him the most and his play just calmed everybody.”
“It gives me more confidence,” Lovelady said of his final round performance. “Playing like this will motivate me. It gives me confidence in my practice, knowing my game is going to where it needs to go. I am looking forward to working hard during the offseason and continue to try and get better.”
Sophomores Robby Shelton and Dru Love both finished among the top five individuals in the event to lead the Crimson Tide on the Par 70, 7,209-yard Old Overton golf course.
Shelton continued his stellar play this season with three rounds of par or below to place fourth overall at 5-under par 205 (66-70-69). Shelton has now recorded par or below scores in seven out of his 12 rounds on the year, which has translated into four top-10 finishes.
Meanwhile, Love recorded his best career finish at a tournament, placing fifth overall at 3-under 207 (65-72-70). Not only was it a career-best finish, but Love also set new personal-best 18-hole (65 in first round) and 54-hole marks.
Sophomore Gavin Moynihan finished tied for 21st shooting a three-day total of 215 (68-73-74). Sophomore Robby Prater rounded out the Tide, finishing 26th overall with a 217 (69-73-75), which included a career-best round of 69 on Monday.
UNLV (849), ranked No. 24 in the nation, placed third overall, followed by UAB (852), Arkansas (853) and No. 2 Georgia Tech (856). Rounding out the remaining teams were Mississippi State (863), Charlotte (866), Texas A&M (868), UTSA (873), Georgia State (873) and Ole Miss (873).
Mississippi State’s Ben Wood claimed medalist honors, scorching the course at 12-under par 198 (71-63-64) – three strokes off the tournament record of 195 shot by Wake Forest’s Bill Haas in 2003.
The Tide golf team now takes a break until February, when it tees off the spring season at the Puerto Rico Classic from Feb. 22-24.
“It’s been a good fall,” Seawell said. “This is a new team. We have had to mix and match to find the right lineup and have given a lot of young guys a chance to play. We’ve had four guys make their debut in college golf this year. We had the lead heading into the final round in three of the four tournaments we played this fall, so this team is slowly trying to create its own identity. I am very thankful for their work and look forward to working hard in the offseason to get ready for the spring.”