Alabama wins SEC Championship
Thomas captures individual title as Crimson Tide earns crown
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- For the second time in 60 years, No. 2 Alabama swept both the team and individual titles at the SEC Championship on Sunday afternoon.
The Crimson Tide finished at 12-under-par 828 as a team on the par-70, 6,898 yard Seaside Golf Course at the Sea Island Golf Club. The 828 was the second-lowest team score in the history of the SEC Championship, a mere one stroke off the 827 shot by Georgia in 2006).
"The team did a fantastic job," Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said. "It got a little nerve racking toward the end when it got close, but the guys did a great job down the stretch. It was exciting to see how our team responded when challenged in the final round of an event like the SEC Championship. You really saw what they were made of over the last four or five holes."
Justin Thomas won the third individual SEC crown for Alabama after carding rounds of 68, 67 and 68 to secure medalist honors.
"Justin has had a remarkable season and that was evident [Sunday]," Seawell said. "What he has done this year is truly amazing, and he has put himself in the mix for both SEC and National Player of the Year honors."
The Tide defeated Auburn by six strokes in the team race with a 2-over-par round of 282 on Sunday after shooting 272 and 274 in the opening two rounds. Auburn shot 277 Sunday to mount UA's only challenge but finished at 6-under 834 for the tournament. Florida (+1, 841) was third with Georgia (+10, 850) fourth and Arkansas (+15, 855) in fifth.
At the end of the day on Sunday, the individual leaderboard actually saw two Alabama golfers sitting in the top two spots. Thomas won his school-record tying third tournament of the season, while Bobby Wyatt finished second, just two strokes off Thomas' pace. The runner-up finish gives Wyatt his sixth top-five finish this year. He finished the weekend 5-under-par 205 after rounds of 65, 69 and 71.
Thomas joins an elite group of Crimson Tide golfers that have won a SEC Championship, including Bobby Hill (1952) and Michael Thompson (2008). Thomas finished the weekend at 7-under-par 203, which equals the lowest individual score to win SEC's since it moved to Sea Island in 2001 (Florida's Brett Stegmaier, 2003).
Cory Whitsett finished tied for 11th, with an even-par performance in the final round, finishing at 1-over for the tournament. Hunter Hamrick and Scott Strohmeyer also posted top-20 finishes, tying for 19th at 4-over-par 214.
The team victory Sunday marks Alabama's fourth team title of the year and Thomas's individual win was the fifth individual crown won by an Alabama player this season.