Feb. 19, 2010
RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico - The University of Alabama men's golf team opens its spring schedule at the Puerto Rico Classic on Sunday, February 21, on the par-72, 6,945-yard Rio Mar River Course.
Head coach Jay Seawell fields one of the youngest teams in collegiate golf with three sophomores and two redshirt freshmen set to tee it up for the Crimson Tide in Puerto Rico. Sophomores Bud Cauley and Hunter Hamrick lead the 12th-ranked Tide into an action packed spring slate that includes five tournaments before the SEC Championships and the start of NCAA Tournament play.
"I'm interested to see how this group stacks up to some of the best teams in the country," Seawell said. "We are extremely young with three sophomores and two freshmen in the lineup, but with the youth comes a lot of talent. We are going to have the chance to play against the best in Puerto Rico and that should help us get ready for the championship portion of the schedule later in the season."
Sophomore Hunter Slatton joins Cauley and Hamrick in the lineup along with redshirt freshmen Scott Strohmeyer and Lee Knox.
Cauley currently ranks first nationally in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index with Hamrick close behind in third. Cauley, a Jacksonville, Fla., native leads the Tide with a 71.29 stroke average while Hamrick, a Montgomery, Ala., native is second with a 71.69 scoring average. Both players won their last time out with Cauley claiming medalist honors at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational and Hamrick winning the Western Refining All-American Classic.
The Puerto Rico Classic, which is hosted by Purdue, consists of a 15-team field that includes nine teams ranked inside the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index's top 40. The field includes five teams in the top 25, No. 1 Oklahoma State, No. 10 Texas, the 12th-ranked Tide, No. 19 Georgia Tech and No. 24 Georgia.
Alabama won the 2008 Puerto Rico Classic before posting an eighth-place finish in 2009. Hamrick put together the Tide's best tournament individually in 2009 with a 16th-place finish (-4, 212) that included three rounds under par.
The 2010 tournament begins with 18 holes on Sunday, Feb. 21 with the second round slated for Monday, Feb. 22 and the final round on Tuesday, Feb. 23.
Following the Puerto Rico Classic, the Tide's schedule will take them to the John Hayt Collegiate at Sawgrass Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla., on Feb. 28-March 2.