Alabama put an end to UCLA’s undefeated season Sunday by winning the SEC/Pac-12 Championship. The Crimson Tide finished at 1-over 865, four shots ahead of the Bruins, and won their first team title since the NCAA East Regional last spring.
Alabama trailed UCLA by three shots after an opening 4-under 284 at Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn. The Crimson Tide climbed to first in Round 2 and held that position. Alabama nearly knocked off UCLA at the Fall Preview on Sept. 25, but fell short in the final holes. They finished runner-up at that event, and followed it with another runner-up finish Oct. 9 at the Tar Heel Invitational. Alabama is No. 5 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.
Top-ranked UCLA had won the Preview as well as the Stanford Intercollegiate entering the weekend.
“I don’t think there is any doubt that UCLA is the standard this year,” Alabama head coach Mic Potter said. “To beat them is always an accomplishment and an honor. We wanted to make sure we played every shot with confidence and commitment and not worrying about what anyone else is doing. We wanted to take care of ourselves, and we did that today.”
Alabama also claimed the individual medalist in sophomore Stephanie Meadow. The SEC/Pac-12 Challenge adds up to her fourth individual title while at Alabama. Three more of her teammates joined her in the top 25, including Jennifer Kirby (T-18), Hannah Collier (T-20) and Johanna Tillstram (T-24).
Auburn finished 10 shots behind UCLA in third (15-over 879). Host Tennessee and USC tied for fourth another shot back. The Trojans traveled with just four players as sophomore Sophia Popov is out with a wrist injury and freshman Doris Chen played in the Sunrise LPGA Championship in Taiwan.
–Information from Alabama Athletics used in this report.