ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – The sixth-ranked Alabama men’s golf team will play for the 2018 Southeastern Conference title after earning a pair of match play victories on Saturday. The Crimson Tide captured a 3-2-0 win over fourth-ranked Vanderbilt in the morning quarterfinal round of match play and followed that with a 3-1-1 win over seventh-ranked Florida in the afternoon semifinals.
Alabama, the sixth-seed in match play, advances to take on the ninth-ranked and fourth-seeded Auburn on Sunday morning for the right to claim this year’s championship. All the action can be seen live on SEC Network beginning at 6:30 a.m. CT (7:30 a.m. ET).
Senior Jonathan Hardee and junior Davis Riley both finished the day 2-0-0 to lead the charge. Hardee captured a 1-up win over Vanderbilt’s Theo Humphrey in the morning and followed that with a 3&2 win over Florida’s Alejandro Tosty in the afternoon. Riley was equally impressive, collecting a 2&1 win over Mason Greenberg of Vandy and a 4&3 triumph over SEC stroke play medalist Andy Zhang of Florida.
Senior Lee Hodges and freshman Davis Shore each split their two matches on the day. Hodges secured a 1-up win against Will Gordon in the morning, but fell 4&3 to John Axelson in the afternoon. Shore fell 4&3 Patrick Martin of Vanderbilt but came back from three holes down to defeat Florida’s Gordon Neale, 1-up, in the afternoon. Freshman Wilson Furr went 0-1-1 on the day (lost to John Ausenstein of Vanderbilt 1&2 and finished all square against Florida’s Chris Nido) to round out the Tide.
The Tide will now turn its focus to the championship match against Auburn on Sunday morning. Despite a grueling day full of emotions, Seawell says his team will be ready to go.