"I was proud of our guys and thought they did a good job all week," Alabama Coach Jay Seawell said. “We were in position leading by six strokes with nine holes left to play, but the pressure seemed to get to us. We didn’t play well down the stretch and you hate it for them. They are very disappointed right now because a season goal is to win an SEC championship and they had a real chance to do just that. Hopefully we will learn from this and get better because of it.”
Seventh-ranked LSU captured the team title with a 13-under par 827, snapping the Tide’s three-year hold on the league’s championship crown. Fifth-ranked Vanderbilt and No. 6 South Carolina tied for second at 10-under par 830. Alabama tied No. 15 Auburn for fourth overall with both teams at 833 over the three-day, 54-hole championship.
Sophomore Robby Shelton led the way for the Crimson Tide golfers, placing third overall for a second consecutive year at the championship. This year, the Wilmer native carded a 6-under par 204 (65-65-74) on his way to his ninth top-10 finish, and sixth top-5 result, in 10 tournaments this season.
South Carolina’s Matthew NeSmith won medalist honors with a 14-under par 196 on the par-70, 6,898-yard Sea Island Golf Club Seaside Course. Auburn’s Ben Schlottman fininshed second overall with an 8-under 202.
Freshman Jonathan Hardee also had a strong performance throughout the weekend. The Greer, S.C., native recorded a season-low 54-hole score of 2-under par 208 (67-70-71) to finish tied for 11th overall. His previous career-low tournament total was a 215 in his previous tournament, the Linger Longer Invitational.
Junior Tom Lovelady carded a final round of even par 70, which was the low round of the day for the Tide, and ended the event tied for 31st with a 210 (74-69-70). Sophomore Robby Prater tied for 36th at 214 (69-70-75), while sophomore Dru Love rounded out the Tide with a 219 (68-74-77) to place 53rd overall.
Next up for Alabama will be the NCAA Regionals. The six 54-hole regional tournaments will be conducted May 15-17. Thirteen teams and 10 individuals not on those teams will compete at each of three regionals while the other three regionals will have 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals.