May 15, 2013
NCAA Baton Rouge Regional Note Alabama Makes 22nd NCAA Championship Appearance in Baton Rouge
The No. 2 Alabama men's golf team will compete in the 2013 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional Championship on May 16-18 at the par-72, 7,436-yard University Club of Baton Rouge as the tournament's No. 1seed. The three-day, 54-hole event begins Thursday, May 16. UA is scheduled to tee off at 8 a.m. on Thursday and will be paired with Florida and LSU in the first two rounds.
The 2013 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional will feature four teams ranked in the most recent Golf World/Nike Coaches' Poll. Joining No. 2 Alabama at the University Club are No. 15 Florida, No. 18 LSU, and No. 24 Mississippi State. No. 5-seed Houston, No. 6-seed Northwestern and No. 7-seed Tennessee are receiving votes in the poll. South Alabama is the No. 8 seed, followed by Coastal Carolina (nine), UAB (10th), Wichita State (11th), Southeastern Louisiana (12th) and Houston Baptist (13th). There are also four individuals at the Baton Rouge Regional, including Jonathan Grey (Georgia State), Tomasz Anderson (Jacksonville State), Alex Ellis (College of Charleston) and Kamito Hirai (Winthrop).
The top five teams at the end of 54 holes will advance to the NCAA Championships on May 28-June 2 on the Crabapple Course at the Capital City Club in Woodstock, Ga. The highest individual that is not on a qualifying team will also advance.
Coach Jay Seawell
, the two-time reigning SEC Coach of the Year, will call on the same lineup that he has used for the past three tournaments, starting Cory Whitsett
, Justin Thomas
, Bobby Wyatt
, Scott Strohmeyer
and Trey Mullinax
Whitsett leads the team with a 70.84 scoring average, which leads the SEC and ranks seventh nationally. Thomas is also under par for the season at 71.16 while Wyatt is just two strokes over par at 71.45. Follow live stats at www.golfstat.com.
Alabama in the NCAAs
The Crimson Tide's bid to the Baton Rouge Regional marks the 10th NCAA Regional appearance in the last 11 years under head coach Jay Seawell. The Tide has made nine straight trips to regional action under Seawell since 2005 and also made an appearance in 2003 during his first year at the helm of the Tide. Alabama won the NCAA Athens (Ga.) Regional in 2012 on its way to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships. The Crimson Tide also won the NCAA Galloway (N.J.) Regional title in 2009. The Tide also had a second-place finish in 2007 and in 1992 under head coach Dick Spybey. UA participated in regional action in 2002, 1997, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1992 and 1991 for a total of 17 regional appearances. Prior to the NCAA Tournament switching to regional format in 1991, the Crimson Tide made five NCAA Finals appearances in 1973-75, 1981 and 1983 under head coach Conrad Rehling. Alabama has 22 total appearances in the NCAA men's golf tournament. The 1975 team that featured Crimson Tide legend Jerry Pate earned UA's best finish (third) in the NCAA Finals until a runner-up finish in 2012.
Three Tide Golfers Earn SEC Postseason Awards
Alabama junior Cory Whitsett was named the Southeastern Conference Men's Golfer of the Year. Head coach Jay Seawell was tabbed as the SEC Coach of the Year for the second straight season (third overall) after guiding the Crimson Tide to the program's fourth SEC Championship. Whitset was also a tri-winner of the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was a first-team All-SEC selection along with Justin Thomas and Bobby Wyatt. Trey Mullinax as named to the All-SEC second team.
Thomas and Wyatt Named Semifinalists for Ben Hogan Award
Alabama junior Bobby Wyatt and sophomore Justin Thomas have been named as two of 10 semifinalists for the 2013 Ben Hogan Award. The Hogan is presented annually to the top men's NCAA Division I, II or III, NAIA or NJCAA college golfer taking into account all collegiate and amateur competitions during a 12-month period. Thomas has captured two medalist honors during his second year at the Capstone and has a 71.16 scoring average. He played for the victorious United States World Amateur team in Turkey this past fall and advanced to the semifinals of the 2012 U.S. Amateur. He is ranked fourth in the World Amateur Rankings. Wyatt boasts six top-five finishes in 10 events this season and was the medalist at the 2012 U.S. Amateur, advancing to the round of 16. He is currently rated No. 3 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Alabama boasts four golfers in the top 30 of the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and three among the top eight. Junior Cory Whitsett leads the way at No. 3 with Mobile, Ala., native Bobby Wyatt fifth and sophomore Justin Thomas eighth. Junior Trey Mullinax is 29th this week while Scott Strohmeyer is 90th.
Crimson Tide under Seawell
Head Coach Jay Seawell has transformed Alabama in to perennial contender in his 11 years at the Capstone. Since taking the Crimson Tide to an NCAA Regional during his first year (2003) this year marks the 10th regional appearances in 11 years, including nine straight. Alabama won the SEC Championship in 2013 for the third time under the guideance of Seawell and finished runner-up to Texas at the 2012 NCAA Championships. Alabama has appeared in six NCAA Championship Finals with Seawell (2005, 07-09, 11-12). His teams have won 31 tournament titles over the last 11 years, including the 2009 and 2012 NCAA Regional titles. The Tide also finished first in the stroke-play portion of the 2012 NCAA Championships. UA has won a school-record six times in 2012-13, tying the mark set in 2007-08. Alabama also set the school record with four straight wins and counting.