Tide Increases Lead In Jerry Pate Tourney

BIRMINGHAM – Powered by Mark Harrell's 64, which included a hole-in-one on the 17th hole in the second round, the University of Alabama golf team is at 30-under par and leads the field of 12 going into Tuesday's final round of the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate.

The two-day, 54-hole tournament played 36 holes on Monday and will play the final 18 on Tuesday. It's being held at Birmingham's Old Overton Club, a par 71 with a 6,958 yards layout.

"We shot 30-under par, and that's pretty good," said Alabama Coach Jay Seawell whose team is the tournament's defending champion and won the 2006 event at 33-under par for the tournament. "We golfed our ball pretty well. The golf course is perfect for birdie conditions. I was real proud that we were able to do it today but we've got to again tomorrow. You realize in a tournament like this that anybody is capable. I think UAB shot 21-under par this afternoon, so you know the people behind you are capable of catching you, so we've got to do it again tomorrow."

Alabama shot 270, which is 14-under par in the morning round and followed it with 268 which is 16-under par, in the afternoon round. It leads UNLV by six shots. UNLV is second at 544 (-24), followed by UAB at 545 (-23), North Carolina 548, Auburn 550, Florida 553, Texas 560, Texas Tech 561, East Tennessee State University 566, tied at 10th at even par Brigham Young and Georgia State 568, and at 12th Georgia Southern 584.

Harrell leads the field at 12-under par. He shot 66 in the morning round and then tied the day's low score of 64 in the afternoon round, one in which he aced hole No. 17 after flirting with another hole-in-one on 12 when the ball lipped the cup and fell out on his first shot.

"This is my second hole-in-one, and both have been in college tournaments," said Harrell who played in the U.S. Open as an amateur this past summer and missed the cut by one shot, going home in the same scoring group as Phil Mickelson. "The first was at The Farm my sophomore year. It's hard to beat the first one, but this one was fun. It was special, too. I hit a six-iron and it landed about three feet short of the hole and just kind of hopped in. It was in the shadow, so I couldn't see it, but I heard the roar. I got a ‘Roll Tide' up there so I knew it went in. I almost did the unthinkable, two in one round. That was a three-iron. I think today I played well. I think I made 14 birdies and two eagles. I just stayed in the moment and tried to stay positive. I think the difference was I was having fun out there. I told myself, ‘just go play and whatever happens happens, quit trying to put pressure on myself and just play golf.' I knew how to play. I've done this game before. So I was fortunate and able to pull off some good shots and make some putts."

Harrell is a stroke ahead of UNLV's Seung-Su-Han (66-65/131) and ETSU's Seamus Power (65-66/131).

"I'm proud of Mark," said Seawell. "I think Mark played great. It was nice for him to come out and play that well. A hole in one kind of lifts you a lot. I'm proud of him. I'm looking forward to seeing how he handles tomorrow. He has a chance to win his first college tournament, and that's something I think they all strive for individually so hopefully he will handle that well tomorrow."

Joining Harrell in the top 10 individuals are two of his Alabama teammates, Matt Hughes and Michael Thompson. Hughes is T-5th at 9-under par after shooting 67-66/133. His afternoon round found him shooting 29 on the front nine. Thompson shot 67-67/134 and is in 9th place at 8-under par. Gator Todd is T-29th at 1-under, shooting 70-71/141. And the tournament's defending individual champion, Joseph Sykora, shot 75-74/149 and is T-51st at 7-over par.

The Crimson Tide is ranked No. 2 in the Golf World/Nike Golf Coaches Poll and No. 4 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.

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