Alabama Golf Among Favorites

Alabama is among the favorites when play begins Friday morning as 12 teams gather at Seaside Golf Course in Sea Island, Georgia, to compete for the 2007 Southeastern Conference Men's Golf Championship.

The nationally third-ranked Alabama golf team is represented by Michael Thompson, Gator Todd, Matthew Swan, Joseph Sykora and Mark Harrell.

Top five ranked Florida opens the tournament, leading off at the No. 1 tee at 7 a.m. CT in a wave that includes Vanderbilt and LSU. At 7:50 a.m. South Carolina, Alabama and Kentucky tee off. At 8:40 a.m. Auburn, Tennessee and Arkansas begin play, and the final wave at 9:30 a.m. will include Ole Miss, Georgia and Mississippi State.

Alabama, coached by Jay Seawell, finished third at the 2006 SEC Championships. Four of its five golfers in the 2007 SEC field have competed on this course and in this event at least once before. It's the third trip for juniors Harrell, Todd and Sykora and the second for Swan. Thompson transferred to Alabama this season.

The tournament has a three-day, 54-hole format. After a practice round on Thursday, the first round is on Friday, second on Saturday and third and final round on Sunday.

Georgia, ranked No. 1 in the country and the league's defending champion, is, along with Alabama and Florida, a favorite to challenge for the title. The Bulldogs have won three of their last four tournaments and finished second in the other.

Alabama, which has spent several weeks this season at the country's No. 1 spot, has won four tournament championships this season, three in the fall and its spring season opener. It also has a second place finish among its nine tournament appearances this season.

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