Former and Current Alabama Men’s Golfers Have Stellar Showings
It was a weekend to remember for both former and current members of the Alabama men’s golf program. Current golfer Jonathan Hardee and former standout Robby Shelton each won a tournament, while former greats Justin Thomas and Trey Mullinax each recorded a top-10 finish at the 117th U.S. Open this past weekend.
Hardee was the first to claim a victory as he captured the 88th Southeastern Amateur championship at the Country Club of Columbus in Columbus, Ga., on Saturday afternoon. Hardee, who entered the final round of play two strokes back of the lead, finished with a final round total of 5-under par 65 to close the event with a four-day score of 18-under par 262 (65-66-66-65).
Hardee, who finished in 19th place at last month’s NCAA Championships, claimed the victory by four strokes ahead of current Georgia Tech golfer and Columbus, Ga., native James Clark (-14, 266). Hardee was one of two current Alabama golfers to finish among the top-15 in the field, as rising senior Steven Setterstrom closed play in 15th with a 1-under par 279 (70-71-68-70).
In addition to Hardee’s victory, former Crimson Tide standout Justin Thomas made U.S. Open history on Saturday when he carded a round of 9-under 63 – the lowest round vs. par in the tournament’s 117-year history. He matched the record set by Johnny Miller, who shot a round of 63 during the 1973 U.S. Open.
Thomas entered Sunday’s final round just one stroke back of the overall lead, but carded a 3-over par 75 during his final round to end the event tied for ninth overall with a 72-hole total of 8-under 280 (73-69-63-75). Thomas, who ranks second in the 2017 FedEx Cup standings following the U.S. Open, recorded his best finish at any of the PGA’s four major tournaments.
Trey Mullinax matched Thomas, his former teammate at Alabama, with a ninth-place showing at the U.S. Open – his first PGA major event in his career. Mullinax, who teamed up with Thomas on the Tide’s 2013 NCAA national championship team, ended with a score of 8-under par 280 (71-72-69-68). His tournament was highlighted by a 4-under par 68 on Sunday, including birdies on holes No. 16, 17 and 18, to finish the day with the third-best score of the final round in the entire field.
Another former Alabama great, Robby Shelton, led wire-to-wire as he captured the title at the GolfBC Championship – his first career professional win – on the Mackenzie Tour (Canadian PGA). Shelton, who is in his first year as a professional, finished with at 19-under par 265 (63-68-65-69) to claim a one-stroke victory. The win puts Shelton atop the Order of Merit through three events, in position to earn Web.com Tour status for the 2018 season.