Alabama golfer Davis Riley had a very fine freshman season and an excellent summer on the tournament scene, and now he’s expected to lead the 16th-ranked Alabama team of Coach Jay Seawell. Bama opens its fall season this weekend in the Carpet Capital Collegiate in Rocky Face, Ga. Competition will be on the 7,012-yard, par-72 Farm Golf Club.
Riley was honorable mention All-America, second team All-Southeastern Conference, and All-SEC Freshman in his first year at Bama. He followed that up with a very strong summer, reaching the match play semifinals at the 2016 Western Amateur Championship followed by an appearance in the match play round of 32 at the 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship.
Otherwise, Alabama will have many new faces as it begins fall play in the prestigious Carpet Capital. Competition is today through Sunday in the 54-hole tournament and there will be no fewer than seven teams ranked or receiving votes in college golf polls.
Junior transfer Lee Hodges will make his debut for the Crimson Tide this weekend, playing in the No. 2 slot. Hodges, who was an all-conference performer at UAB and named Conference USA’s Freshman of the Year in 2015, transferred to Alabama following last season. Hodges, a native of Elkmont, Ala., boasts a career scoring average of 72.43, along with seven top-10 finishes and 13 rounds in the 60s. He will look to add his experience and leadership to help lead what will be a young Crimson Tide team in 2016-17.
Juniors Tyler Hitchner, who played in six events last year and nine in his career, and Steven Setterstrom, who has eight career tournaments played, each earned a starting spot in this weekend’s lineup. Rounding out the Tide will be a pair of redshirt freshmen who will make their collegiate debuts in Alex Green and Josh Sedeno, who will compete as an individual during the event.
Alabama has won the Carpet Capital Collegiate three times (2006, 2007 and 2010), while former standout Justin Thomas won individual medalist honors in 2011. The Tide also holds course records for 18-hole (276 in 2006) and 54-hole (841 in 2006) scores.
The field includes No. 6 Florida, No. 7 LSU, No. 13 Clemson, No. 16 Alabama, No. 17 South Carolina, No. 21 Virginia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Memphis, Kennesaw State, North Florida, Chattanooga, and Dalton State
Alabama is paired with No. 6 Florida and No. 17 South Carolina.