Everyone has heard the advice. If you’re hot, go to Las Vegas! The Alabama men’s golf team is headed to the desert, but the Crimson Tide players won’t be testing their hot streak in the casino. Instead, Bama will be attempting to keep its winning going on the golf course.
The No. 4 Alabama men's golf team, winners of three consecutive tournaments, will play its second event of the spring season this week at the 2016 Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, hosted by UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev. The three day, 54-hole event will take place Monday-Wednesday at the 7,510-yard, par-72 Southern Highlands Golf Club.
The Tide comes into this week’s event as one of the hottest teams in the nation. Alabama has captured a team title in each of its last three tournaments, winning the last two events of the fall season (Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate and Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational) and the first tournament this spring (Puerto Rico Classic).
The Tide will be led by Robby Shelton, who is coming off claiming medalist honors at the 2016 Puerto Rico Classic. Shelton is also the reigning champion from last year’s Southern Highlands Collegiate, as the junior cruised to a six-stroke victory with a 15-under par 201. Shelton, who is ranked No. 3 in the nation according to Golfweek.com, comes into the event having won a total of three tournaments this year and a school record seven for his career.
Joining Shelton in the lineup is sophomore Jonathan Hardee, who finished second at the Puerto Rico Classic, senior Tom Lovelady, freshman Davis Riley, and junior Robby Prater.
For the Tide to win a fourth-straight title, it will have to do so against one of the toughest fields it has played against all season. The 2016 edition of the Southern Highlands Collegiate includes six of the nation's top-10 teams, according to Golfweek, and nine of the country's top 20.
Including the fourth-ranked Tide, the 15-team field includes No. 1 Illinois, No. 2 Florida, No. 5 Texas, No. 8 Southern Cal, No. 10 Oklahoma State, No. 14 Arizona State, No. 17 Oklahoma, No. 18 California, No. 28 Oregon, No. 32 UCLA, No. 33 UNLV, No. 35 SMU, No. 39 Texas Tech, and TCU.