Tide Golf Begins Run For Third Straight NCAA

The two-time defending national champion Alabama men’s golf team is set to compete at the NCAA Noblesville (Ind.) Regional, which will be held Thursday through Saturday at the par 72, 7,173-yard Sagamore Club.

The three day 54-hole regional marks Alabama’s 11th consecutive appearance in NCAA postseason competition and 24th showing overall in the tournament. Alabama has won three consecutive NCAA Regionals and four overall, capturing the 2009 NCAA Galloway (N.J.) Regional, the 2012 NCAA Athens (Ga.) Regional, the 2013 NCAA Baton Rouge (La.) Regional and the 2014 NCAA Auburn Regional.

The top five finishers at the NCAA Noblesville Regional will advance to the 2015 NCAA Championships, which will be held at the Concession Golf Club on May 29-June 3 in Bradenton, Fla.

The Tide, ranked 20th in the nation in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and the fourth seed in the regional, will have its work cut out as this year’s 14-team preliminary features nine teams ranked among the top-50 in the nation.

Highlighting the regional will be No. 1 seed Illinois, the top-ranked team in the country. Oregon, ranked No. 12 in the nation, is the No. 2 seed, followed by No. 3 seed and 17th-ranked UCLA. Other top-50 teams include fifth-seeded (No. 31) SMU, sixth-seeded (No. 24) UNLV, seventh-seeded (No. 39) Virginia Tech, eighth-seeded (No. 45) Georgia Southern, and ninth-seeded (No. 48) Colorado, with 10th-seeded New Mexico State, 11th-seeded East Carolina, 12th-seeded Marquette, 13th-seeded Alabama State, and 14th-seeded Pennsylvania rounding out the field.

The Crimson Tide's lineup will be the same as it fielded at the 2015 SEC Championships, in which Alabama led for 45 of the tournament’s 54 holes. Leading the squad is two-time SEC First Team honoree and 2015 Ben Hogan Award semifinalist Robby Shelton, who is ranked No. 6 in the nation. All-Freshman SEC honoree Jonathan Hardee (ranked No. 117) and junior captain Tom Lovelady (ranked No. 55) will join Shelton, alongside sophomores Dru Love and Robby Prater.

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