Alabama Men’s Golf Wins the 2018 Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate
For the sixth time in the last seven years and the 10th time overall, the Alabama men’s golf team claimed the championship at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate. The third-ranked Crimson Tide did so this year in dramatic fashion, securing the win on the final putt of Tuesday’s third round to finish with a team total of 12-under par 828 (277-277-274) and defeat No. 19 Arkansas (-11, 829) by one stroke.
"I thought our guys did a good job today,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said. “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. I'm proud of how our guys responded with birdies and Davis Riley's eagle on 15; it was the difference in the tournament."
Alabama was clinging to a one-stroke lead as senior Davis Riley, who was paired in the final group, was approaching the 18th green. Arkansas’ Julian Perico, who claimed medalist honors with 13-under par 197, missed his birdie putt that would’ve forced a tie. Riley then calmly drained his par putt to ensure the team title.
“When I got to the 18th green, coach Seawell told me that we were one stroke ahead,” Riley said. “(Perico) and I both had birdie putts and after he missed his, all I had to do was make two putts to win. 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.”
"Davis was great,” Seawell said. “This 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 the event in second overall – his best finish of the season and second-best result of his career – after carding a 9-under par 201 (66-68-67) over the two-day, 54-hole event. It was the second-best 54-hole total and score vs. par in the senior’s four-year collegiate career. It also marked his ninth career top-five finish and the sixth time in nine rounds played this season that he has shot in the 60s.
Sophomore Davis Shore collected the second-best finish and 54-hole score of his young career, as he ended the tournament with a 1-under par 209 (70-70-69) which tied him for sixth overall. Sophomore Wilson Furr gave the Crimson Tide three golfers among the top 15, as he tied for 14th place with a 2-over par 212 (69-72-71).
After an opening round of 80, freshman Prescott Butler responded with back-to-back rounds of 3-under 67 to close play in 22nd with a 54-hole score of 4-over par 214. Sophomore Ben Fuller, playing in his first collegiate event, rounded out the Alabama golfers as he tied for 42nd overall with a 222 (72-73-77) on the par 70, 7,204 yard Old Overton Club.
Auburn, ranked No. 14 nationally, finished in third at 5-under par 835, while BYU (839) and Charlotte (842) rounded out the top five teams, respectively.
Alabama will return to action on Oct. 19-21 when it competes at the U.S. Collegiate Championships in Alpharetta, Ga. The Crimson Tide will then close out the fall season at the prestigious East Lake Cup in Atlanta on Oct. 29-31. That event will be televised live on the Golf Channel.