Men's Golf Cruises to Win at Olympia Fields/Illini Invitational
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama men’s golf team finished off a commanding 18-shot victory at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational Sunday at the prestigious par-70, 7,142-yard Olympia Fields Country Club outside of Chicago.
“We really played well this weekend,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said. “I was pleased with the way the guys prepared, and then how well they executed on the course. It really was an A-plus effort.”
True freshman Robby Shelton led the Crimson Tide to victory in his first event as a member of the Alabama squad. The native of Wilmer, Ala., shared medalist honors at even-par 210. Shelton shot 3-over 73 in the final round as Stanford’s Cameron Wilson carded an even-par round to join him at even par.
“I was really proud of the way Robby played all weekend,” Seawell said. “He went out in his first start on a U.S. Open-caliber course and played very well. It was impressive to see how he handled himself. We needed someone to step in with the loss of Justin (Thomas) and he has done that. Robby is a big part of our team.”
Shelton is the second true freshman to win his first tournament at Alabama in the last three years and only the second in school history. Justin Thomas also claimed medalist honors at the 2011 Carpet Capital Collegiate.
Alabama shot its highest round of the three-day event Sunday with an 11-over 291, but still cruised to an 18-shot victory at 9-over 849. Texas (867) was second with Oklahoma State (869) third, Arkansas (871) fourth and Stanford (872) fifth. It was the seventh straight tournament victory dating back to last season for the defending national champion Crimson Tide.
Senior Trey Mullinax finished well on Sunday with a 2-over 72 for a tie for fourth place at 2-over 212. Bobby Wyatt shot 74 in the final round and finished tied for sixth at 4-over 214. Gavin Moynihan counted toward the Tide’s score on Sunday with a 72. Cory Whitsett’s 77 was dropped from the team total Sunday but still finished tied for 12th at 218.
The Crimson Tide have a few weeks off before returning home to host the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate at the Old Overton Golf Club in Vestavia Hills, Ala., on Oct. 7-8.
Follow live scoring at www.golfstat.com and get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaMGolf, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.
JOLLY LEADS TIGERS IN FIRST ROUND AT GOLFWEEK CONFERENCE CHALLENGE
BURLINGTON, Iowa -- LSU junior Stewart Jolly continued his hot start to the 2013 fall season by firing a team-best even-par 72 in Sunday’s opening round of the Golfweek Conference Challenge as the No. 9-ranked Tigers finished the day in a tie for 10th place in the team standings in the event being held at Spirit Hollow Golf Course.
Jolly wrapped up the afternoon in a tie for 11th place on the leaderboard and just three shots out of the lead with two rounds to play in the fifth-annual event.
The Birmingham, Ala., native kicked off his junior season a week ago by tying for third place at the prestigious Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic with a season-opening tournament score of 5-under par 211. He picked up right where he left off on Sunday while leading the Tigers to a team score of 12-over par 300 on the day.
Ball State’s Tyler Merkel fired the round of the day with a 3-under 69 to take an early one-shot lead over New Mexico’s Victor Perez at 2-under 70 and eight other golfers with scores of 1-under 71 on the leaderboard.
The Tigers finished the day in a tie for 10th place with Florida Gulf Coast as each team posted an 18-hole score of 12-over 300 during Sunday’s action. The Tigers are only 11 shots off the pace with two rounds to play this week as the Houston Cougars have taken the early lead with a team score of 1-over 289. New Mexico and Oklahoma follow in a tie for second place in the 15-team field with matching scores of 2-over 290 while Virginia Tech follows in fourth place at 4-over 292 and Jacksonville State rounds out the top five in fifth place at 5-over 293.
Rounding out the team scoring for the Tigers with the first round were junior All-American Curtis Thompson with a 3-over 75 to tie for 37th place, freshman Brandon Pierce with a 4-over 76 to tie for 45th place and senior Smylie Kaufman with a 5-over 77 to tie for 52nd place among the 75 golfers in the field. Pierce’s 4-over 76 came in his collegiate debut with the Tigers on Sunday.
Also competing as part of LSU’s five-man lineup for the Golfweek Conference Challenge is sophomore Zach Wright, who finished the day with a round of 11-over 83 to tie for 73rd place overall.
The Tigers are paired with Ball State and Florida Gulf Coast in Monday’s second round and will tee off from the back nine beginning at 9 a.m. CT. Live scoring of the second and third rounds at the fifth-annual Golfweek Conference Challenge will be provided by Golfstat and can be found online at www.golfstat.com.
Moore Leads No. 7 Razorbacks To Fourth Place Finish
OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. -- Behind sophomore Taylor Moore’s first career top five finish, the No. 7 University of Arkansas men’s golf team capped its season-opening weekend at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational in fourth place out of a loaded field of 15 teams that included eight in the top 25.
The reigning Co-SEC Freshman of the Year, Moore fired a one-under 69 to jump four spots on the final day and into a tie for fourth place in the 75-player field that included 16 members on Golf World’s Preseason Top 50 Players to Watch list. Moore was Arkansas’ low-man in two of three rounds, finishing with a score of 72-71-69(-1)/212. The Edmond, Okla. product led the Razorbacks with 36 pars and eight birdies over the weekend, playing even-par golf on the front nine.
Moore’s final round one-under 69 highlighted a team score of 290 that gave the Razorbacks a three-round score of 294-287-290/871. Arkansas finished in front of four ranked teams, including one top 10. No. 1 Alabama (849) took home the team title by 18 strokes over No. 3 Texas (867), while No. 8 Oklahoma State (869) finished third.
“This weekend was a good experience for our guys because we learned a lot of about ourselves and what areas we need to improve on,” said head coach Brad McMakin. “I liked the way we handled the conditions, which were different every day, but there are other things we’ve got to get better at in order to play up to our potential. Next weekend will be another great field of teams that will present another challenge.”
Senior Sebastian Cappelen picked up his 23rd career top 15 finish by tying for 12th place overall. Cappelen’s final round 74 on Sunday gave him three counting scores this weekend, as he finished as the tournament leader in par 5 scoring at four-under. Cappelen’s three-day score of 218 (75-69-74) was highlighted by a one-under 69 on Saturday.
Playing his 100th collegiate round, senior Blake Biddle turned in his best round of the weekend with an even-par 70 that vaulted him from a tie for 42nd place into a tie for 29th in the final standings. Biddle’s round featured 14 pars, as he improved each day with scores of 76, 75 and 70. Redshirt sophomore Kolton Crawford and sophomore Nicolas Echavarria each turned in 77s to round out the scoring. Playing in his first event since the spring of 2012, Crawford tied for 39th place (74-72-77/223). Echavarria’s opening round 73 was his lowest score of the weekend as he finished in a tie for 61st.
Arkansas will make its second trip to the state of Illinois in a week when it opens play at the Windon Memorial Classic. Hosted by Northwestern at Knollwood Country Club, the Windon Memorial Classic will begin with 36 holes on Sunday, Sept. 22.
For more information on Arkansas men’s golf, follow @RazorbackMGolf on twitter.
No. 18 Florida Men's Golf Sees Improvement on Final Day at Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational
Olympia Fields, Ill. -- In final-round play today, the No. 18 Gators men's golf squad improved by seven strokes (+15) from round-two's team score and wrapped up the eighth annual Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational by notching a 14th place finish.
Florida's young team was able to see progress in the fall's first test of the season. Junior J.D. Tomlinson had a notable day, shooting even-par (75-76-70) and finishing the Invitational 11-over. Freshmen Ryan Orr and Victor Tarnstrom advanced four strokes from round-one, recording rounds of 80-75-76 (231) and 78-74-74 (226), respectively.
Buddy's Bite: "Today was about the same as the rest of the week except J.D. (Tomlinson) stepped up and played a really good round. I walked with him today; he played well in the green and hit quite a few good shots. So that's definitely a positive. We learned from this experience and it's allowed us to see where we are and where we need to be. But the positives were J.D., Ryan (Orr) and Victor (Tarnstrom)."