If there was a positive for the University of Alabama men’s golf program on Wednesday, as it cheered for the UA women in a crushing NCAA Championship loss to Arizona, it was the first-hand look that the Crimson Tide players took at the Karsten Creek course at Oklahoma State.
However, Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said earlier this week that attitude would play more of a part than logistics as the Crimson Tide joins 29 other teams in pursuit of the men’s title.
Stroke play in the event will begin on Friday. Alabama is the No. 5 overall seed and the No. 6 ranked team in the current Golfstat rankings of NCAA teams. Host institution Oklahoma State is the No. 1 overall seed.
“I’ve talked to Mic (Potter, the UA women’s coach) and he said the (Karsten Creek) course is in great shape,” Seawell said. “It will be a great test. If you aren’t accurate, it will punch you in the nose and when you have opportunities to score, you need to take advantage.”
The Crimson Tide finished fourth in the NCAA Pacific Regional, five strokes behind Kansas, to qualify for the event.
“I thought we played very well,” Seawell said. “That was a difficult Regional. We had to fly all the way across the country and play a very tough course, very different from most West Coast courses. Yet we could have won the thing if we had played better on the par 5’s. That’s going to be a major part of our preparation, thinking about our approach more than going out and playing a lot of golf in practice.”
Alabama freshman Wilson Furr and senior Jonathan Hardee both finished in the Top 5 among individuals at the Pacific Regional. Furr, in particular, has been on a late surge this season as his driving accuracy has improved.
“I hit the ball really well last week,” said Furr, whose second-round 64 was the best 18-hole total of the week. “You start out hitting the ball, you get some momentum and you keep going. Hopefully it will continue this week.”
In addition to Furr and Hardee, Alabama is expected to go with its usual lineup of senior Lee Hodges, junior Davis Riley and freshman Davis Shore.
Reach Cecil Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-722-0225.