Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Alabama's team at the Mercedes Benz, Clint Provost, Thomas Hagler, Gator Todd, head coach Jay Seawell, Mark Harrell and Joseph Sykora.
PONTE VEDRE BEACH, FLA. - The University of Alabama men's golf team opened its 2005 spring season with a second place finish at the Mercedes Benz Intercollegiate here at Sawgrass Country Club. Alabama was the second round leader on Monday but fell victim to Florida's third round surge in Tuesday's final 18 holes. The Gators, the tournament's champion in 2002 as well, made up Alabama's six stroke lead and overtook the Crimson Tide, carding 292-302-280/874 to win the tournament's championship.
The Gators' Matt Every claimed the individual championship as well. He finished one under par, carding scores of 71-73-71/215 on the par 72 course.
Alabama shot 297-291-291/879 to finish second among a field of 17 teams. UCLA was third (883), followed by Augusta State (884), Tennessee and South Carolina (886), LSU (890), North Florida (891), Kentucky (893), Duke (896), Central Florida (899),Coastal Carolina and Georgia State (902), Arkansas (908), Arkansas (908), UAB (909), Northwestern (923) and Florida State (930).
"It was another learning process for us. You can't practice being in the last group," said Alabama golf coach Jay Seawell of starting the morning in the leader's wave. "We were a little nervous coming in. Maybe we played a little quick."
Individually for Alabama, Clint Provost led, finishing T-6th at three over par. He carded 72-71-76/219. Gator Todd produced Alabama's low round of the tournament when he shot 69 in the final round on Tuesday. He finished among a tie at 11th (75-76-69/220). Thomas Hagler finished T-19th (75-71-76/222). Mark Harrell finished T-41st (75-73-78/226), and Joseph Sykora finished T-71st (78-73-70/231).
Alabama will make its next quest for a tournament title in quick succession. The team travels to Rio Grande, Puerto Rico where Purdue will host the Puerto Rico Classic. Play begins Sunday (February 27). Alabama, Arizona State, Clemson, Duke, East Tennessee State, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Kent State, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, N.C. State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma Sstate, Purdue and Virginia Tech make up the field for that tournament.