SMU Has Two-Shot Lead Over Alabama
Alabama, the tournament's defending champion, is 11-under par, shooting 278-271/549.
Auburn is third at 5-under par (287-268/555), followed by UNLV (282-276/558), North Carolina (283-276/559), Baylor (285-277/562), Georgia State (286-278/564), North Florida (285-282/567), UAB (287-282/569), Memphis (299-281/570),North Carolina-Wilmington (300-279/579), and Samford (302-294/596).
The tournament is being played at Birmingham's Old Overton Club, which is playing par 70 at 6,934 yards for this year's tournament.
"They played well. I'm proud of them," said Alabama Coach Jay Seawell of Alabama's effort. His five-man team here includes four freshmen. "We've still got a lot of work to do. There are a lot of things we left out there, but I was proud of how they fought. The golf course played easier today. There were easier pins. They took advantage of it. They played well. They shot 9-under par (in the afternoon round). We're a couple of shots away from SMU, so we get to find out something about a young team, how they're going to handle with an opportunity to win. You can't practice that at home, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
The teams will play the third and final round beginning at 8 a.m. CT. Alabama, ranked No. 8 in the Golf World/NIKE Coaches poll and No. 10 in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, will be among the last groups on the tee beginning at 8:50 a.m. CT playing off the No. 1 tee.
Alabama's Hunter Hamrick, a freshman, shared the day's low round with Auburn's Glenn Northcutt and the pair is among the top two in the field after 36 holes. Both shot 6-under par, 64, in the second round Monday afternoon. Hamrick birdied seven holes in the round which Alabama started on the No. 10 tee. The Montgomery native bogeyed No. 18, a par four, before making the turn. Northcutt, the leader going into the final round, started at the No. 1 tee in the afternoon round and turned at 2-under par. His second round included five birdies. He leads the field at 7-under par (69-64/133) with a one-shot lead against Hamrick (70-64/134) who is in second place.
"I hit it just as good in the afternoon as in the morning. I just made putts," said Hamrick, a Montgomery native. "That was the difference in the morning and afternoon. From tournament to tournament, I just try to take the momentum from qualifying. I shot 20-under in qualifying, so I tried to take that and just kind of relax and enjoy myself a little more, and it worked."
Alabama's Bud Cauley is a shot back from Northcutt and Hamrick in a tie for third place after shooting 69-66/135. Alabama's Matthew Swan is among a two-way tie at 13th (69-69/138). Hunter Slatton is T-27th (70-72/142), and Phillip Weaver is T-46th (72-75/147).
"I think we're starting to kind of gel a little more," said Hamrick of his team which lost four seniors to graduation from last season's team that won six team tournament championships and spent most of the season ranked No. 1. "The freshmen, me included, are starting to get a hang of the whole college golf thing, so I think that's good."
Alabama and SMU shared the lead after the morning round of the tournament that found the field of 12 teams and 60 golfers playing 36 holes in a day and finishing, literally, as night fell on the final group on No. 18. Both Alabama and SMU shot 2-under par, 278 in the opening round which began for the first teams on the tee in the mist and rain, making for some wet conditions to start. Alabama and SMU were the only two teams to finish the first 18 holes under par. Five teams shot under par in the afternoon round, including Auburn which went from a T-8th with UAB at 7-over par to 5-under par after 36 holes. UNLV was in third place after the first round at 2-over and is at 2-under and in fourth going into the final round. And North Carolina is 1-under par going into the final round after shooting 3-over and being in fourth place after the opening round.
UNLV's Eddie Olson was the first round leader after shooting 4-under 66. He's T-7th at 4-under going into Tuesday's last round.
The final round begins at Old Overton Club at 8 a.m. CDT. Admission is free.
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