Tide Men, Women Golfers Do Well
At Greensboro, Ga., Alabama sophomore Bud Cauley destroyed the field at the Linger Longer Invitational with a 12-under-par total of 204 as the Crimson Tide posted a second place team finish on Sunday at The Landing Golf Course at Reynolds Plantation.
At Athens, Ga., the sixth-ranked Alabama women's team had its best round on Sunday to finish in second played on the Par 72, 6,335-yard University of Georgia Golf Course in the Liz Murphy Collegiate Classic.
The Crimson Tide men made a run at the team title with a 5-under-par 283 in Sunday's final round to finish at 3-over-par 867 for the tournament, just two shots back of top-ranked Oklahoma State. The Cowboys held on for the team title, shooting 2-under 286 to finish at 1-over-par 865 for the tournament.
"I was real proud of the way the team played this weekend," Alabama Coach Jay Seawell said. "We were paired with the best team in the country in Oklahoma State for all three rounds, and we played with them toe-to-toe. They beat us, but we have a better idea of what kind of team we have, and the things we need to work on to get to the level each time out."
Cauley, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., captured medalist honors by six strokes over Oklahoma State's Kevin Tway. Cauley closed strong in Sunday's final round with an eagle and two birdies over the final five holes to shoot 5-under-par 67. The 54-hole total of 12-under-par 204 is a career low for the returning All-America.
"Bud was great this weekend," Seawell said. "When he is on, and he was at this tournament, he is really hard to beat. He has struggled a little this spring, and really struggled in the first round. This week he came out and almost put it away on the first day and then, as always, he finished strong. I think this was a tournament that everyone can use as a stepping stone headed into the rest of the season."
It is Cauley's third individual tournament win of his career and the second this season after winning the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational in October. He lowered his season scoring average to 71.38.
Cauley wasn't alone on Sunday as redshirt freshman Scott Strohmeyer followed a second-round 68 with a 3-under-par 69 in the final round. Strohmeyer, who shot an 83 in the opening round, rallied to finish tied for 15th at 4-over-par 220, going 7-under over his final 36 holes.
Sophomore Hunter Hamrick also carded his best round of the weekend with an even-par 72 on Sunday to finish at 9-over-par 225 and tied for 30th. Redshirt freshman Hunter Slatton shot 3-over-par 75 in the third round to count as the Tide's fourth score and finish tied for 38th.
Lee Knox shot 78 in the final round to also finish tied for 38th at 227. Phillip Weaver, who played as an individual finished tied for 80th.
The Crimson Tide men return to action next weekend at the Administaff Augusta State Invitational.
The Crimson Tide women carded a 4-over-par 292 in the final round to finish at 46-over-par 910. Duke captured the team title with a third-round 289 and 54-hole total of 25-over-par 889. Arkansas finished third at 48-over 912 with Auburn and Purdue tying for fourth place at 51-over-par 915.
"We really got off to a bad start on the first 27 holes this weekend, but settled down and really played well over the last 27 holes," Alabama Coach Mic Potter said following Sunday's final round. "I am pleased with the way the girls are hitting the ball and this was another good teaching experience for us because the greens were very firm and fast and that is something we haven't seen a lot of this season. It took a little while to adjust to the quick greens, but we made an adjustment and the scores starting getting better."
True freshman Jennifer Kirby finished tied for second individually to pace the Tide. The native of Paris, Ontario, Canada, fired her second consecutive even-par 72 to finish at 5-over-par 221 along with Duke's Stacey Kim. The second-place finish is the best of her young career and her second top-10 showing. Kirby also boasts the lowest freshman scoring average in school history at 73.21 strokes per round. The Blue Devils Lindy Duncan won medalist honors at 3-under-par 213.
"She was solid all week," Potter said of Kirby. "She is very capable of making birdies because of her length off the tee. Jennifer's short game has also gotten a lot better, which has been reflected in her scores."
Junior Camilla Lennarth finished strong on Sunday with a 1-over-par 73 to finish tied for 20th at 13-over-par 229. She was in 55th place after round one but vaulted up the leaderboard over the final 36 holes to post a top-20 finish.
Sophomore Brooke Pancake posted her highest score of the weekend with a 5-over-par 77 but still finished tied for 17th at 11-over-par 227. She carded rounds of 75, 76 and 77 over 54-holes at the UGA Golf Course.
Senior Helena Blomberg saved her best round of golf for the final round for the second consecutive week, firing an even-par 72 on Sunday to finish tied for 53rd at 236. Junior Courtney Harter also played her best round of the tournament in the third round, carding a 3-over-par 75 and finished tied for 62nd.
The Alabama women will have two weeks off before returning to action on April 9-11 at the Ping ASU Invitational at the ASU Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz.
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