Spring preview 2018: SEC

Spring preview 2018: SEC

College

Spring preview 2018: SEC

As the college golf season gets ready to resume, Golfweek will preview each automatic-qualifier conference in Division I, offering picks to win, midseason All-Conference teams and more.

All of our conference previews will reside here.

Next up: SEC

• • •

Men

Conference championship: April 25-29, Sea Island GC (Seaside), St. Simons Island, Ga.

Defending champion: Vanderbilt

Team rankings: Texas A&M (2), Alabama (3), Vanderbilt (4), LSU (7), Florida (9), Auburn (10), Missouri (17), Kentucky (23), Arkansas (25), Tennessee (27), South Carolina (33), Ole Miss (42), Mississippi State (66), Georgia (84)

Midseason All-Conference team: Davis Riley, Alabama (2); Hayden Buckley, Missouri (5); Will Gordon, Vanderbilt (10); Chandler Phillips, Texas A&M (12); Braden Thornberry, Ole Miss (22)

What to expect: Texas A&M may have lost Cameron Champ to the pros but won three times without him this fall and still boasts plenty of talent, including Phillips. Riley leads a strong Alabama team that also includes talented freshmen Davis Shore and Wilson Furr. Vanderbilt lost Matthias Schwab, but Theo Humphrey and Gordon have stepped up their play, and Patrick Martin remains a consistent score every time out. LSU has done well rebounding after losing Sam Burns, Eric Ricard and Brandon Pierce to pro golf and graduation. Florida is once again loaded, and freshman John Axelsen is just starting to come into his own. Auburn is a deep again while Missouri is back in the conversation thanks to Buckley. Ole Miss struggled in the fall, but Thornberry remains one of the nation’s best talents.

Pick to win: Texas A&M.

• • •

Women

Conference championship: April 18-22, Legacy Course, Birmingham, Ala.

Defending champion: Florida

Team rankings: Alabama (2), Arkansas (3), South Carolina (6), Florida (22), Vanderbilt (25), Texas A&M (29), Tennessee (31), Ole Miss (34), Auburn (35), Kentucky (49), Missouri (58), LSU (67), Georgia (70), Mississippi State (71)

Midseason All-Conference team: Lauren Stephenson, Alabama (2); Maria Fassi, Arkansas (4); Kristen Gillman, Alabama (7); Alana Uriell, Arkansas (11); Dylan Kim, Arkansas (15)

What to expect: Arkansas had a nice fall, but Alabama features two top-7 players not named Cheyenne Knight (35). South Carolina has fared well in the wake of Katelyn Dambaugh’s transition to pro golf while Florida, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M lead a group of about six teams that could really challenge for an SEC title this spring.

Pick to win: Alabama.

 

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