Baton Rouge Regional: 'Bama keeps rolling
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Team winner: Alabama (4-over 868)
Individual winner: Scott Strohmeyer, Alabama (4-under 212)
Also moving on: Teams – 2. Florida (874), 3. LSU (890), 4. Tennessee (892), 5. Coastal Carolina (894). Individual – Tyler Klava, South Alabama (2-over 218)
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Rolling, rolling, rolling
After a slow start in Cajun Country, the Alabama men – arguably college golf's hottest team this spring – found its way and continues to impress. The Crimson Tide won the Baton Rouge Regional to capture their fifth tournament in a row and sixth of their last seven. It’s Alabama's seventh victory overall.
The Crimson Tide posted the low score of the tournament Saturday, 6-under 282, good for a six-shot victory over first- and second-round leader Florida.
“We were only eight shots back (heading into the final round), and we knew it was doable,” said sophomore Justin Thomas. “With Bobby (Wyatt) shooting low and Scott (Strohmeyer) shooting a 69, we played solid.”
Strohmeyer won the individual title by two shots over teammate Wyatt. Strohmeyer posted a 3-under 69 in the final round to pick up his first collegiate victory. Wyatt, a junior, shot the low score of the tournament with a 6-under 66 Saturday. In the team’s past seven tournaments, a Crimson Tide player has won the individual title five times.
Thomas tied for sixth at 2-over 218, giving the Tide three of the top 6 finishers.
“We’re really excited for NCAAs,” Thomas said. “It’s a pretty sweet course (Capital City Club's Crabapple Course) and we liked it a lot, so we’re looking forward to getting there.”
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Carolina on my mind
Houston and South Alabama couldn’t hang with the top teams to advance out of the Baton Rouge Regional, but ninth-seeded Coastal Carolina could. The team shot a final-round 9-over 297, which was good enough to sneak into the fifth position and advance. The Chanticleers will be making their first appearance at the NCAA Championship since 2007.
Leading the way on Saturday was sophomore Peter Valasek, who shot 3-under 69 and tied for sixth individually. Senior Sebastian Soderberg, who qualified as an individual for the 2011 NCAA Championship, tied for 17th.
South Alabama and Houston tied for sixth on the team leaderboard, two shots behind Coastal Carolina. Houston shot 12-over 300 and South Alabama shot 15-over 303 during the final round.
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A playoff for an individual spot at NCAAs went to South Alabama’s Tyler Klava, who two-putted for par on the first extra hole to defeat Georgia State’s Jonathan Grey. . . . Another pair of SEC rivals -- host LSU and Tennessee -- joined Alabama and Florida in qualifying for NCAAs. The Vols shot an even-par 288 to advance to Atlanta. . . . Fourth-seeded Mississippi State finished a disappointing 10th at 45-over 909. The Bulldogs, who won three times this spring, were trying to advance for the first time since 2007-08.