Although the University of Alabama golf team wasn’t able to put together another back-nine surge like the first two rounds of the Pacific Regional, the Crimson Tide still did enough to easily qualify for the NCAA Championships on Wedesday.
Alabama shot the final round at 1-under-par to finish fourth. The top five teams advance to play for the national title at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., on May 25-30.
“Making the national championship is a big deal,” Coach Jay Seawell said a release. “The guys were good throughout the week and it was a different guy each day. I am really proud of how they battled, especially on the back nine again today under the highest pressure you can have. You can’t practice or prepare for that type of pressure when you are trying to qualify.
“I am proud of how they responded.”
No. 43 Kansas won the qualifier by shooting the par-72 course at minus-20, one stroke better than No. 18 Stanford, which had the low round of the day at -11 on The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton, California.
Unranked Iowa State was third at -17, two strokes better than Alabama, which secured its 20thappearance at nationals and 11th under Seawell.
No. 30 Oregon secured the final spot. Although No. 6 LSU made a final-day charge it still missed out on the top five, along with No. 19 USC and No. 31 TCU.
No. 7 Alabama began the final round tied for the lead at -14, but got off to a sluggish start.
Senior Jonathan Hardee had Alabama’s low round at -5, while freshman Wilson Furr was -2. Overall, Furr finished tied for third on the individual leaderboard at -9, while Hardee was one stroke behind him tied for fifth at -8.
Junior Davis Riley finished +1, and freshman Davis Shore was +2.
“We are going to need all five guys to perform if we want to contend for a national championship,” Seawell said. “We’ve proved we are more than a two-man team. Both Davis Riley and Lee Hodges have been terrific all year and both are first-team All-SEC players, but our team is much deeper than that. That bodes well for us next week.”
This story will be updated after the completion of the round.