The finish marked Alabama's sixth top-five finish in nine tournaments this year, while three Bama golfers finished among the individual top-10.
“There were a lot of good things we can take from this weekend,” Alabama Coach Jay Seawell said. “We were able to give ourselves a chance to win by being in the final group which is something we haven’t done all spring. I think getting Jonathan (Hardee) healthy helped with that. We knew Vanderbilt was going to play well; this is their home course and they are a very good team. I was a little disappointed in today. We couldn’t match them over the last nine holes but all in all I think there were a lot of positives. We can learn from the mistakes and look forward to building on this week.”
Carding a final round 4-under 67, Tom Lovelady of Birmingham, Ala., led Alabama as he tied for fourth overall with a 54-hole total of 3-under 210 (71-72-67). His final round 67 was a spring season low on his way to a third top-five finish of the year. Lovelady's final round was highlighted by a back-nine 3-under, including an eagle on the par-5 14th – one of only 11 during the tournament.
Dru Love shot even-par 213 (71-68-74) for the tournament and tied for sixth overall. Love played the par-5s at 6-under through 54 holes, which was fourth-best in the field. Robby Shelton gave the Tide three among the top 10 as he carded a 1-over 214 (73-70-71) and tied for eighth place. It was Shelton’s eighth top-10 finish in nine tournaments this season.
Jonathan Hardee gave a solid effort in his second tournament since returning from an injury that sidelined him for the beginning of the spring season. The Greer, S.C., native closed the three-day 54-hole event tied for 27th overall at 222 (72-73-77). William Sellers rounded out the Alabama golfers as he tied for 49th overall with a 227 (76-76-75).
Tournament-host and fourth-ranked Vanderbilt claimed the team title by 11 strokes over Alabama and 11th-ranked Georgia Tech (857). The Commodores, who are coached by former Alabama assistant Scott Limbaugh, were able to fend off both the Tide and Yellow Jackets by carding a tournament team low score of 279 on Sunday. Kennesaw State, ranked 21st nationally, finished in fourth with an 868, while No. 44 East Tennessee State rounded out the top five with an 869.
Alabama will return to action on April 17-19 when it competes at the SEC Championships at the Sea Island Golf Course in Sea Island, Ga.
“I think our guys have more confidence and hope coming into the SECs,” Seawell said. “We believed in the guys and we knew if we had the right guys in the lineup that we could play with anyone. I think we proved that to ourselves this week. The next 10 days will be very important in terms of practice and to build off this tournament. We’ll see what happens, but we are excited about going back to work and hopefully win an SEC Championship.”