In prestigious weekend college golf tournaments, the Alabama women’s team of Coach Mic Potter ran away with the team title as freshman Kristen Gillman was individual medalist, and the Crimson Tide men of Coach Jay Sewell finished a stroke back of sixth-ranked Florida in the Mason Rudolph Invitational in Nashville.
The Alabama women’s golf team captured its third tournament championship of the season – and second in as many outings – with a 10-under par performance on Sunday to win the Bryan National Collegiate at the par-72, 6,386-yard Bryan Park Champions Course in Brown’s Summit, N.C.
Alabama (291-282-278/851) finished 13-under par for the tournament to win by 14 shots over runner-up Georgia (291-287-287/865), which finished at 1-over par. Baylor (289-290-288/867) finished third at 3-over par. North Carolina (286-295-291/872) and North Carolina State (297-289-286/872) tied for fourth at 8-over par.
Freshman Kristen Gillman won individual medalist honors for the tournament with a tournament record 208 (71-71-66) after carding a career-low 6-under par 66 on Sunday to finish at 8-under par on the weekend. Gillman’s third round score of 66 equals the eighth-lowest round in Alabama history and marks the 15th round of par or lower for the Austin, Texas native in 21 rounds played in 2016-17.
Sophomore Lauren Stephenson tied for third at 6-under par (70-69-71/210) after a 1-under par round on Sunday. Stephenson has also been under par in 15 of 21 rounds this season. Cheyenne Knight matched Gillman with her own round of 66 on Sunday to tie for 16th at 2-over par (76-76-66/218). The round was the sophomore’s eighth in the 60s – and 15th of par or better – this season. Junior Lakareber Abe tied for 21st at 4-over par (75-72-73/220) and senior Mia Landegren tied for 49th at 9-over par (76-71-81/228).
Alabama has now won three championships and finished second twice in seven tournaments this season. The three victories equals the fourth-most in a season in school history. Gillman’s medalist honor is also the third for the Crimson Tide this season. Cheyenne Knight won the Mason Rudolph Championship in September and Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in March.
The Crimson Tide will be in action again next weekend at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, April 7-9 at the University of Georgia. The three-day tournament will include a single round of stroke play on Friday, followed by two days of match play. Alabama defeated UCLA, 3-2, to win the match play title at last season’s tournament.
In Nashville, no one could be disappointed in the Alabama performance. The Tide had four men shoot under 70 in the one-stroke loss to Florida in the 14-team field at the Vanderbilt Legends Club.
The Gators finished with a team score of 271 on Sunday while Bama was at 273. Alabama played the 7,100-yard, par-71 course at 278-272-273—823, which was 29-under par, the season’s best result. The 54-hole score of 823 is seventh best in program history and the 9-under against par ninth best by a Bama team.
The Tide was led by Josh Sedeno, who finished second with three rounds of 68 for a 9-under 204. Bama’s Lee Hodges was tied for third at 8-under (69-68-68—205), Davis Riley ninth (71-68-68—207), and Jonathan Hardee tied for 12th (70-70-69—209).
“The guys accepted the challenge of what we were facing and I am really proud of how they performed,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said. “Playing Vanderbilt on its home golf course and competing against Florida, that’s two of the best teams in the country. We talked about it all week and the guys were prepared and handled themselves from the practice rounds and throughout the tournament. They proved that they are as good as any team in the nation this week. That will go a long way for all of us as the season continues to progress.”
Sedeno paced the Tide throughout the weekend, as the Roseville, Calif., native collected his first top-five finish and best result of his young career with his second-place showing. Sedeno carded a tournament total of 9-under par 204 on the strength of three consecutive rounds of 3-under par 68 – all career-best numbers. He shared the lead entering Sunday's final 18 holes and was vying for medalist honors throughout the day until a bogey on the 17th hole dropped him out of the lead. Sedeno would narrowly fall to Florida's Sam Horfield (202), who is ranked No. 47 in the nation, by two strokes for the individual title.
Sedeno did the majority of his damage on the par 5 holes, as he ranked third with an average of 4.42 (-7) during tournament action. Meanwhile, his 14 birdies throughout the event tied for fourth-most among all golfers.
“What a great lift Josh gave us,” Seawell said. “He finished second and the reason we were good was primarily because of what Josh did. How he handled himself with the lead all day, competing against some of the best amateurs in college golf, was very helpful for our team. I told him when he walked off the 18th green today, ‘Welcome to Alabama golf.’ I think this week will go a long way into his development as a player at the University of Alabama.”
Hodges also fared well, as he collected his fourth top-10 result over his last five tournaments with the third-place finish. Hodges collected three consecutive rounds in the 60s on his way to an 8-under par 205 (69-68-68). It is the second time in his last three tournaments that the Ardmore, Tenn., native has scored three consecutive sub-70 rounds – a feat he had not previously accomplished in his collegiate career prior to this spring.
Hodges, who finished the event tied for second in par 4 holes with an average of 3.89 over the course of the tournament, has scored par or better in 14 of his last 15 holes and has shot in the 60s in seven of his last nine holes played.
Riley also had a stellar performance as he collected his second consecutive top-10 finish with the ninth-place result. The Hattiesburg, Miss., native carded rounds of 71-68-68 on his way to a season-low tournament total of 6-under par 207. In fact, he has recorded a 68 in three of the last six rounds he has played since returning from an injury that sidelined him for Alabama’s first two tournaments of the spring.
Hardee collected his third top-20 result in four events this spring with his 12th-place result. The Greer, S.C., native closed play at 4-under par 209 (70-70-69) and has shot below par in nine of the 12 rounds he has played.