Alabama holds off Georgia Tech to win Puerto Rico Classic by four strokes
RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico -- Top-ranked Alabama held off a final-round challenge from No. 3 Georgia Tech to win the program's 11th consecutive tournament on Tuesday at the Puerto Rico Classic with a 54-hole score of 45-under 819 on the par 72, 6,945-yard, River Course at the Rio Mar Country Club.
Freshman Robby Shelton shared medalist honors with Clemson's Miller Capps at 12-under 204 after shooting a 1-over 73 in the final round. Alabama placed four players in the top 10 while compiling the second best score in relation to par in school history at 45-under after shooting 14-under 274 in Tuesday's final round.
Georgia Tech made a run at the Crimson Tide with a tournament-low round of 20-under 268 in the final round, but came up four shots back at 41-under 823. Georgia finished third at 29-under 835 while Clemson (-17, 847) was fourth and Virginia Tech (-9, 855) was fifth.
Sophomore Tom Lovelady led the Tide with a 5-under 67 on Tuesday. Then when Georgia Tech pulled even on the back nine, Alabama's senior trio of Cory Whitsett, Bobby Wyatt and Trey Mullinax played their final nine holes in 7-under par to secure the win.
The 11th win in a row for the Crimson Tide extended the school record for consecutive victories to almost a full calendar year. The last time Alabama did not win a tournament it competed in was a tie for second at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters on March 8-10, 2013.
The Tide is a combined 136-under par in the past four years -- four wins -- at the Puerto Rico Classic (12 rounds), averaging 11.3 strokes under during that span. The 45-under 819 is the Crimson Tide's lowest 54-hole total since setting the school record of 47-under (817) at the 2012 Schenkel Invitational. It is Alabama's 12th under-par total in 15 rounds this year. Alabama is averaging 5.1 strokes below par per round as a team this season.
Whitsett and Mullinax finished tied for eighth at 8-under 208. Whitsett carded a 4-under 68 in the final round while Mullinax posted a 70. Mullinax continues to lead all Tide golfers with a 68.20 scoring average with Shelton just behind at 69.93.
Wyatt also broke 70 with a 69 in the third round to finish tied for 10th at 7-under 209. Lovelady's 67 was a career best for the Birmingham native and included eight birdies and three bogeys. Shelton, who shared medalist honors actually had his final-round 73 dropped from the team total on Tuesday.