Tuesday, March 26, 2002
On a day where Irish eyes are smiling, Ireland native Graeme McDowell shot 65 to win the Conrad Rehling University of Alabama Invitational. The St. Patrick’s Day win was the fifth individual tournament championship for the UAB senior who put together rounds of 68-68-65/201 to finish 12 under par on the Capstone Club’s par 71 course. His round on Sunday included a hole in one on the par three seventh hole.
The University of Alabama shot three under par in the final round as a team, playing on a rain-soaked course to finish second at one over par in the final standings. Alabama shot 291-281-281/853 and produced three top 15 individuals as Nick Rousey finished third (73-65-67/205), and both Lars Brovold (72-71-72/215) and Jan Are Larsen (75-72-68/215) finished tied at 14th. Minnesota won the tournament’s championship, besting the field of 15 teams with a five under par finish (282-283-282/847).
The tournament used a new format where the 15 teams were split into NCAA districts, the Midwestern Region and the Southeastern Region. Alabama won the tournament’s Southeastern Region championship while Minnesota won the Midwestern Region.
Alabama’s Nick Rousey made the all-tournament team, joining McDowell (UAB), John Holmes (Kentucky/203), John Humphries (LSU/208), and Lee Williamson (Purdue (210).
“It was a wonderful event this week,” said Alabama head coach Dick Spybey. “I’m extremely proud of our new home course, the Capstone Club, as we were able to showcase it to the rest of the country. Being able to do just that, as well as honor Coach Rehling, has been one of our goals through the years.
“As for the team’s performance, we certainly are a little sad not to have come out on top for this first one but we are certainly not disappointed in our play. Minnesota just played superb golf and was able to hold off our last round challenge.”
The final team standings found Minnesota first at five under par (847), followed by Alabama (853) and Toledo (853), LSU (863), Michigan State (864), UAB (866), Kentucky (869), Illinois (870) and Charleston (870), Purdue (874), Vanderbilt (876), Ole Miss (877), South Carolina (878) and Miami of Ohio (891).
In addition to Rousey, Brovold and Larsen, Alabama’s team also included Clint Provost and Wesley Pate. The pair finished tied at 41st. Provost shot 75-73-74/222. Pate shot 74-72-75/222.