March 14, 2013
STATESBORO, Ga. - The second-ranked Alabama men's golf team opens play at the 2013 Schenkel Invitational on Friday at the par-72, 6,962-yard Forest Heights County Club looking for back-to-back-to-back titles in Statesboro, Ga.
Alabama is fresh off a second-place finish at the Southern Highland Collegiate Masters after winning the Puerto Rico Classic to open play this spring. The Tide set a school and tournament record with a 47-under-par total of 817 at the 2012 event. It eclipsed Wake Forest's tournament record of 39-under that had stood for 26 years.
The Crimson Tide's lineup in 2013 features sophomore Justin Thomas, juniors Cory Whitsett and Bobby Wyatt along with senior Scott Strohmeyer and redshirt freshman Tom Lovelady. Lee Knox, a native of Augusta, Ga., will be participating as an individual.
The Crimson Tide will begin this year's tournament at 9:30 a.m. (CDT) Friday. Alabama will be playing with North Florida and Vanderbilt during the first round. The Commodores are coached by former Tide assistant Scott Limbaugh. Saturday's second round will get underway at 8 a.m. (CDT) with Sunday's round beginning at 7 a.m.
The 2013 Schenkel Invitational boasts a 15-team field that features five teams ranked in the top 30 of the most recent Nike/Golf World Coaches' Poll - No. 2 Alabama, No. 5 Texas, No. 8 Florida, No. 28 North Florida, No. 30 Vanderbilt. The field also includes UAB, UCF, College of Charleston, Georgia Southern, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Texas, Notre Dame and Virginia
Thomas and Whitsett led the Tide a season ago with a tie for third place at 12-under-par 204. The pair is also the Tide's top-two scorers this season with Thomas averaging 71.1 strokes per round and Whitsett close behind with a 71.61 scoring average.
Thomas and Whitsett are ranked 11th and 16th, respectively in the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, while Wyatt is close behind in 19th.
Alabama returns to action on March 24-25 to defend its 2011 and 2012 titles at the Linger Longer Invitational. Whitsett also won medalist honors at the Linger Longer in 2011 and 2012.
Live scoring of the Schenkel Invitational is available at golfstat.com. Follow breaking news on the Crimson Tide on Facebook at AlabamaMGolf and on Twitter at @AlabamaMGolf.