Arkansas coach Brad McMakin didn't predict Sebastian Capellen's triumph in the SEC tournament, but he came close.
Capellen hit every green in regulation and finished off a bogey-free final round of 4-under 66 to win the SEC title by three shots. He only missed two fairways on the day, despite winds at 20 mph, gusting to over 30.
Cappelen shot a 4-under 66 Sunday, overcoming a four-stroke deficit to win the SEC men's golf individual championship at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons, Ga.
"I have never seen a player play as well as Sebastian did in all my years of coaching over the final 36 holes," McMakin said afterwards. "To shoot 66 today, in these conditions, is a credit to Sebastian's ability. His hands are great and he was able to keep the ball from getting caught up in the winds. I am very happy for him and proud of the way this team rebounded after a tough first day."
Earlier in the week, McMakin sounded confident that Cappelen would have a chance to contend.
"All he needs is a good putting round at the SEC and it's over," McMakin said. "He's as good as anyone out there. He might hit one bad drive a round. He might have a couple three putts. And he'll shoot the easiest 70 that you've seen. He shot 70 the last day at Bryan so easy. Right now, watching him is a lot of fun."
It's the second big title of the season for Cappelen, a native of Odense, Denmark. He holed a 20-foot birdie on the 54th hole at the Patriot Invitational, an all-star event with the top players from all divisions of golf at the end of December. He finished second at the Western Refining Invitational, the other big all-star event of the fall.
Cappelen holed an 8-footer at No. 16, then followed it with a 30-footer at the 17th, a par three. He posted his score 30 minutes ahead of the leader.
Cappelen, a junior, shot 8-under for the three-day tournament, becoming the first Arkansas golfer since Bud Still in 1995 to win the event. He birdied the 16th and 17th holes Sunday to take a one-stroke advantage over South Carolina's Caleb Sturgeon into the clubhouse.
Sturgeon, who entered the final round with a four-stroke advantage, triple-bogeyed the 16th hole to fall four strokes behind Cappelen. Sturgeon finished with a final round 73.
Alabama won the men's team championship with a three-day score of 8-over. South Carolina finished second after entering Sunday with a five-stroke lead in the team standings. Arkansas finished sixth, 18 strokes behind the Crimson Tide.
Cappelen Wins SEC golf title
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