Alabama Men's Golf Leads SEC Tourney

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - The No. 25 Alabama men's golf team recorded a season-low score of 11-under par 269 and leads the field by five strokes after Friday’s opening day of the 2015 Southeastern Conference Men’s Golf Championship.

The Tide’s 18-hole score tied for the sixth-lowest round in school history and the third-lowest score by an Alabama team in SEC Championship history.

“I am really proud of the way our guys played today,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said. “We had a great practice round yesterday and that carried over. I thought our guys played great but I am especially proud of Robby Prater’s round. He has had an up and down spring and he gave us a big round of 69 today. I thought all of our guys did great. I am pleased to have the lead but we just have to continue to play well (Saturday).”

The Tide leads seventh-ranked LSU (274) by five strokes, while No. 15 Auburn (275) and No. 6 South Carolina (275) are tied for third overall. Fifth-ranked Vanderbilt (276) rounds out the top five.

Sophomore Robby Shelton, who has been named a Ben Hogan Award semifinalist and selected to the 2015 U.S. Palmer Cup team this week, is tied for the individual lead, carding a 5-under par 65 on the par-70, 6,898-yard Sea Island Golf Club Seaside Course.

Shelton began his round by recording six birdies over his first 12 holes on his way to matching his season-low score (also recorded a 65 at the Southern Highlands Masters). Shelton is in a three-way tie for first with South Carolina’s Matthew NeSmith and Arkansas’ Colton Crawford.

Three additional Crimson Tide golfers rank among the top 15 individuals following Friday’s opening round. Freshman Jonathan Hardee recorded his first career sub-70 round when he carded a 3-under 67. Hardee opened the day with a bogey on the first hole, but finished with four birdies and 13 pars to close the day in a tie for fifth overall.

Dru Love concluded his round with a 2-under par 68 and is in a tie for 11th overall. Love, a native of St. Simon’s Island, Ga., is playing on his home course and set the pace for the Tide. The redshirt sophomore blistered the font nine with four birdies and a bogey on his way matching his low round of the spring season.

Sophomore Robby Prater matched his career-low number with a 1-under 69 and is in a tie for 15th overall heading into Saturday’s second round. Meanwhile, junior Tom Lovelady rounds out the Tide finished at 4-over par 74 and is in a tie for 58th overall.

The Crimson Tide entered the conference tournament in pursuit of its fourth consecutive SEC title and sixth in program history. No team has won four straight SEC Championships since Florida accomplished the feat from 1991-94.

Alabama will be paired with LSU and Auburn in Saturday’s second round and will tee off at 8:10 a.m. CT (9:10 a.m. ET).

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