Tide Golf Team Still In Second In Regional
Alabama shot 11-over par Friday, 295, and trails second-round leader Wake Forest by 10 shots. The top 10 teams among the 27 team field will advance to the NCAA team finals May 28-31 in West Lafayette, Ind.
Wake Forest is 9-over par going into the regional's final round, shooting 290-287-577. Alabama is second at 19-over after 36 holes, shooting 292-295/587. Tied for third are Illinois and Penn State, both at 22-over (590). Eastern Kentucky is fifth at 23-over (591). Tied at sixth are Texas A&M and Oklahoma State (592). Florida and and Louisville are tied at eighth (594) and Kent State and Indiana are tied at 10th (597). Below the cutline going into the final round are, in order, Michigan (598), Eastern Michigan (599), Lamar (600), Tennessee (601), Wichita State and Ohio Sate (602), TCU and Colorado (604), Georgia Tech and Texas-Arlington (606), Arkansas (608), Cleveland State (612), Marquette (613), Baylor (616), Sacred Heart (627) and Loyola College (632). Oklahoma State's Kevin Tway stands atop the individual leaderboard. He shot 2-under par on the par 71 Scarlet Course on Friday and is 3-under for the tournament (70-69/139). He's two shots ahead of Wake Forest's Brendan Gielow who is 1-under (69-72/141).
Leading Alabama is Mark Harrell who is T-5th at 2-over par, shooting 1-under 70 on Thursday and 3-over, 74, on Friday (70-74/144). Matthew Swan is T-18th (71-76/147) at 5-over. Matt Hughes is T-37th at 7-over (73-76/149). And Alabama teammates Joseph Sykora (79-72/148) and Michael Thompson (78-73/151) are among a T-59th at 9-over par.
Friday was a tale of two weather situations, with Alabama drawing the short straw. The morning groups of which Alabama was among started their rounds in the wind and rain with temperatures in the 40's. Around noon, as those groups were finishing, the weather broke, with the temperature rising into the 60's, the winds dying and the sun coming out, producing ideal playing conditions.
"That's just the nature of golf. All of the morning groups played in some pretty tough conditions, but that's how it goes," said Alabama head coach Jay Seawell whose team stayed at second place where it had been the day before and started the second round on hole No. 10. "We got off to a slow start. The conditions were tough. We didn't start well. After the 14th, we really played some pretty good golf. We played pretty well from there on in. I was proud of how we finished. We've got 10 shots to catch up on Wake Forest, so we'll go out tomorrow with the goal to do that and try to win this."
Alabama had the early tee time Thursday, starting the day on the back nine at 7 a.m. Sykora had Alabama's low round for the day, shooting 1-over, 72. He birdied one hole and bogeyed two on the back nine and birdied No. 3 and bogeyed No. 8 on the front. Thompson shot 2-over, 73, bogeying holes 11, 14 and 15 to start out and then shooting par on the Hughes both shot 5-over, 76. Swan double bogeyed Nos. 14 and 16 but birdied three holes, two of those on the front. Hughes double bogeyed No. 10 to start his round but quickly recovered. He made par on the remaining eight holes on the back and the first two on the front. But he bogeyed four of his final seven holes, ending with a birdie on No. 9.
All three NCAA regionals, the East, Central and West, conclude play Saturday. Each regional will advance 10 teams and two individuals from teams that didn't advance. The finals' field will include 30 teams and six individuals.
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