Tide golf team to compete in Tennessee tournament

Caroline Gazzara

For the first time in program history, the No. 1 Alabama men’s golf team will travel to Franklin, Tenn., for the Mason Rudolph Championship. This will be the last tournament for Alabama before the SEC Championship.

It will also be a reunion for some players, as the previous assistant coach for Alabama is now the head coach at Vanderbilt. Coach Scott Limbaugh worked with the Crimson Tide from 2007-12 before leaving for Vanderbilt. Alabama coach Jay Seawell said he was excited to see his old assistant coach, but he is ready to compete.

“We had a week off, and you always want to get back on the horse because it bugs you, and I think we’re ready to get back on and to go see some old friends,” Seawell said. “I know for our guys, the head coach at Vanderbilt was their assistant coach and helped recruit them here, so I think everybody is excited to be going up to Nashville and playing golf and seeing some old friends.”

(See also “Men’s golf team looks to excel after long break“)

Previously, the Crimson Tide finished second at the Linger Longer Invitational. Since the invitational, Seawell said he likes what he sees from the team at practice.

“There was energy and excitement to be at practice,” Seawell said. “Sometimes the season gets long, and practice can become routine, just kind of going through the motions, so I think the week off was really good for us. We saw a lot of guys with the energy to work, and so that was good to see again.”

Senior Cory Whitsett said spring break was a good time to refocus and solidify his game. He also said the team was ready for this weekend.

“We haven’t been playing bad; we just haven’t been playing up to our standards, so I’m looking for a good, solid week from everyone,” Whitsett said. “I think we will be more than ready to go take care of business.”

(See also “Tide attracts Hogan’s Watch List“)

With this being the last chance to compete before the SEC Championship, Seawell and Whitsett said they are in the homestretch, and it’s make it or break it time.

“I really like how we came back from spring break,” Seawell said. “There was an energy, and I think the guys needed to get away a little bit. I do believe we are in the process of getting our guys into better golf – peaking into good form.”

The Crimson Tide will head to Tennessee on Wednesday. Seawell said his team is looking forward to competing in the championship for the first time.

“This is our last time to kind of do it again – our last pop quiz before the big test of the SEC,” Seawell said. “We’re looking forward to competing against other teams. Vanderbilt’s an awesome golf course, and so it’s going to be a great test, so we need to be our best if we want to beat them.”

(See also “Tide seeks another title with young team“)