Tider Wins Golf Title; Bama Team Is Second

Daphne native Joseph Sykora opened his senior season on The University of Alabama golf team by claiming an international collegiate championship of sorts.

Alabama senior golfer Joseph Sykora shot 67-66-69/202 to finish 14-under par and four shots better than anyone else in the field at the 2007 TOPY Cup U.S. vs. Japan intercollegiate Golf Championship.

His Crimson Tide team was beaten by a stroke for the team championship. Alabama finished second to Japan's Tohoku Fukushi University which finished the tournament at 22-under par after shooting the low final round, 283. Tohoku Fukushi shot 283-276-283/842 to win.

Alabama finished 21-under par on the Tanagura Den-Sha Country Club course in Tanagura Town, Japan. Alabama opened the tournament in a tie for third place on September 4 after shooting 284, then shot a 15-under 273 as a team in the second round to lead going into the final round on September 6. Alabama shot 286 in the third round to finish second of the 10 teams, four of those NCAA contenders and the other six Japanese collegiate powers.

The final team standings saw Tohoku Fukushi University finishing first (842) followed by Alabama (843), No. 1 ranked Stanford (282-276-289/847) at 17-under, Duke (852) at 12-under, Nihon University (856) at 8-under, Chuo Gakuin University (879) at 15-over, Clemson (880) at 16-over, Nagoya University of Commerce (893) at 29-over, Kyushu Tokai University (900) at 36-over, and at 10th Senshu University (901) at 37-over par.

Sykora was the tournament's medalist, winning his second individual career collegiate championship to go with his Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate title last season. At the JPNI, he set the school's 54-hole record at 199 which was 14-under par at the course at Old Overton Club in Birmingham. Though it wasn't a record, his 202 in the final round in Japan found him finishing that tournament at 14-under on the Tanagura club course as well.

He finished four shots ahead of Tohoku Fukushi's Yuta Ikeda who finished 10-under (68-69-69/206). Tied at 3rd at 9-under was Alabama's Michael Thompson who shot 70-66-71/207. Alabama's Mark Harrell finished 20th at 2-over, carding 74-69-75/218. And rounding out the Tide's scoring, Stewart Whitt finished T-28th at 6-over (73-75-74/222) and Gator Todd finished T-35th at 8-over (80-72-72/224.

Alabama will return from Japan and prepare to defend its own title at its next event, the September 14-16 Carpet Capital Collegiate in Dalton, Ga.

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