Tide Golf Second In SEC

SEA ISLAND, GA. – Three Crimson Tide golfers finished among the top ten individuals, including one who shot the tournament's low round, but the University of Alabama fell two strokes short of a title at the 2007 Southeastern Conference Men's Golf Championships.

Alabama finished second Sunday among the league's 12 teams at the three-day, 54-hole tournament which began on Friday and concluded with the third and final round on Sunday at the par 70 Seaside Golf Course in Sea Island, Ga. It was Alabama's best SEC finish since 1983 when the Tide lost to Georgia in a playoff. Alabama won the SEC Golf Championship once, in 1979. It has finished second five times now, in 1973, 1976, 1977, 1983 and 2007.

The Tide posted team round scores of 298-288-285/871 to finish second at 31 over par, shooting five over par, its best round of the tournament, in the final round. Tennessee, coached by former University of Alabama golfer Jim Kelson, claimed its third league championship and first in 17 years (1990), by finishing two strokes ahead of Alabama, finishing 29 over par for the tournament, shooting five over in the final round. The Vols shot 301-283-285/869 to win.

The final team standings found Tennessee finishing first at 869, followed by No. 3 ranked Alabama (871), Auburn (874), Ole Miss (876), Florida (878), No. 1 ranked Georgia (883), Vanderbilt (886) South Carolina (889), LSU (892), Arkansas (897), Kentucky (901), and Mississippi State (913).

Tuscaloosa native Patton Kizzire of Auburn, who went into the final round as the leader, won his first league individual championship. Kizzire finished the tournament at one over par, shooting even par in the final round to win, with scores of 72-69-70/211, finishing four strokes better than Tennessee teammates Chris Paisley and Tino Weiss who finished second at five over par, 215.

Alabama produced three top ten individuals and four of its five golfers finished among the top 16. Leading the way for Alabama was transfer Michael Thompson, a junior who joined the Alabama team this season after Tulane dropped its golf program in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Arizona native shot the field's lowest round of the tournament when he came in Sunday with a 67, three under par. Thompson, the only member of Alabama's team here that had never competed in the championships at Sea Island, finished tied at fourth. He shot 77-72-67/216 which is six over par. Thompson shot one under par on the front nine, and, boosted by birdies on No. 13 and No. 15 on the back nine, finished the round at three under par.

Two Tide golfers, Mark Harrell and Gator Todd, finished tied at ninth. Harrell shot 75-70-74/219 to finish nine over par, four over in the final round. Todd, who bettered his 11th place league finish in 2006, shot 73-75-71/291, shooting one over par in the final round.

Montgomery native and Alabama sophomore Matthew Swan finished tied for 16th, shooting 74-71-76/221 in his second league championships appearance. And Tide junior and Daphne native Joseph Sykora finished tied at 47th, shooting 76-81-73/230.

Alabama has one regular season event remaining on its schedule, the May 13-14 Linger Longer Invitational which will be held at Oconee Course at Reynolds in Greensboro, Ga. Alabama, which has been ranked as high as No. 1 in the country, is expected to make the 2007 NCAA Regionals. Likely, Alabama will play in the NCAA East Regional which will be held May 17-19 at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Ga.


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