Tuesday, October 19, 2004
KNOXVILLE, TENN. – Freshman Gator Todd shot 69 in Tuesday’s final round to lead the University of Alabama men’s golf team to a second place finish at the University of Tennessee’s Coca-Cola Tournament of Champions. Alabama carded 285-288-285/858 to finish six over par for the tournament and five strokes back of No. 15 ranked Tennessee. The Vols won their home event, shooting 284-285-284/853 on the par 71 course at Knoxville’s Holston Hills.
Alabama will conclude the fall portion of its year-long schedule in Baton Rouge, La., October 25-26 when it competes in LSU’s University Club Intercollegiate. Despite having only one senior, Clint Provost, Alabama has thus far had a successful fall. Of its four events, Alabama has had two top three finishes and was in title contention going into the final round in a third tournament.
“We’ve taken another step today,” said Alabama head men’s golf coach Jay Seawell. “We had a chance to win and we didn’t do the things we need to do at the end of the golf tournament to win. We didn’t hit enough shots and we came up short. But this will be another block to build on in making this one of the top programs in the country, which is certainly our goal. Tennessee is ranked in the top 15, and I’m proud we stood toe to toe with a top team on their home golf course and had chance to win. We just have to learn to execute in the final round and we will. The thing I’m most proud about is that this team is genuinely disappointed. We finished second in a tournament, and yet nobody was patting anybody on the back. We wanted to win it. You have to like that. They’re hungry. They’re not satisfied with second.”
Three Alabama golfers finished among the top 25 individuals, led by Todd who finished T-10th in just his second collegiate appearance. The Florence native shot 70-74-69/213 to finish at even par for the tournament. Joseph Sykora finished T-14th at two over par, carding scores of 72-69-74/215.Thomas Hagler finished T-25th, shooting 74-72-72/218. Clint Provost shot 69-75-75/219 to finish T-29th. Mark Harrell shot one under par in the final round and finished T-37th with scores of 78-73-70/221.
Tuesday’s final round of the two-day tournament was delayed two hours at the start by rain. The final team standings found. The final team standings found Tennessee first (853), followed by Alabama (858), East Tennessee State (862), Virginia (864), Louisville and Pepperdine (866), Georgia Southern (867), Vanderbilt (868), Austin Peay State (874), Royal Canadian Golf (882), Swedish Junior National Team (885), Tulane (887), South Alabama (893), and Louisiana-Lafayette and UAB (895).