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Men’s golf wins Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate

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Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics

Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics

Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics

James Ogletree, Staff Writer

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Alabama men’s golf won its first tournament of the year in Vestavia Hills on Tuesday, claiming the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate for the sixth time in the last seven years.

The Crimson Tide, ranked No. 3 nationwide in the most recent Golf Coaches Association of America poll, shot a three-round total of 12-under-par 828 to win by one stroke over No. 19 Arkansas.

“I thought our guys did a good job today,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said in a press release. “Hats off to Arkansas, they were great – it was back and forth the whole day. You can’t simulate this culture. It’s why you play, why you practice, why you do everything.”

The victory didn’t come without some late-round drama, as Alabama had to wait until the final putt of Tuesday’s round to celebrate the championship.

Alabama held a one-stroke lead as senior Davis Riley played the final hole. When Arkansas’ Julian Perico, who was the tournament’s individual medalist at 13-under par 197, missed his tying birdie putt, Riley made his par putt to secure Alabama’s win.

“When I got to the 18th green, coach Seawell told me that we were one stroke ahead,” Riley said. “This victory means a lot for our team. It was our first win of the year and we’re hoping to continue this momentum throughout the rest of the season.”

Riley also made an eagle on the short, par-4 15th hole, which Seawell called “the difference in the tournament.”

Davis was great,” Seawell saidThis is his team and he took ownership of that. When we needed some leadership from the players, he did a tremendous job and gave us the freedom to do what we did today. I have a great amount of confidence in him with not only his golf game, but also how he handled this whole situation.”

Riley finished in second place in the 58-player field, his best finish of the season and the second-best of his career. His 9-under-par total of 201 was one stroke above his career best.

Sophomore Davis Shore’s T6 finish and total score of 209 were both the second-best of his career.

Sophomore Wilson Furr finished tied for 14th, the third-best placing of his career, with a three-round score of 212 (2-over-par).

Freshman Prescott Butler, making his first team start, rebounded from an opening-round 80 with back-to-back rounds of 3-under 67. He finished tied for 22nd at 214 (4-over-par).

Sophomore Ben Fuller, in his first collegiate action, tied for 42nd overall at 222.

Alabama will return to action from Oct. 19-21 at the U.S. Collegiate Championships in Alpharetta, Georgia.

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