Tide wins Puerto Rico Classic 3rd straight time

The No. 3 Alabama men’s golf team continued its impressive play on Tuesday, securing the program’s third straight win in the Puerto Rico Classic with a final-round 14-under-par 274 at the 6,902-yard, par-72 River Course at the Rio Mar Country Club.

“We really played well from top to bottom in the lineup this week,” head coach Jay Seawell said. “It was a great battle with Oklahoma throughout the tournament – they played very well.

“OU had a one-shot lead with three holes to play, and our guys really responded,” Seawell said. “That was what I really liked about the win. I made sure our guys knew we were down by one shot with three holes to play. I wanted to see how they would respond, and we played 4-under on the final three holes to win the tournament.”

The Crimson Tide pulled away from Oklahoma (-26, 838) to eventually post a seven-shot win, the Tide’s fourth victory in its last six trips to Puerto Rico. The 33-under par (831) tied the third-lowest 54-hole score in school history in relation to par, while the 14-under was tied for the sixth-lowest round score.

Alabama is 91-under par during its last three wins at the Puerto Rico Classic, shooting 28-under (836) in 2011, 30-under (834) last year and 33-under in 2013.

SMU finished 10 shots back of Oklahoma in third place with Georgia in fourth at 12-under-par (852) and Georgia Tech in fifth at 6-under (858).

Tide junior Cory Whitsett carved up the River Course layout on Tuesday with a 6-under-par 66 that included seven birdies and just one bogey. He made five birdies in his first seven holes and finished two shots behind medalist Albin Choi of North Carolina State (-12, 204). Whitsett was 10-under (206) after matching rounds of 70 on the first two days.

Fellow junior Bobby Wyatt was four shots back in a tie for eighth place after a 3-under-par 69 in the final round. The Mobile native finished strong with four birdies over his final nine holes. He shot under par in all three rounds of the Puerto Rico Classic.

Sophomore Justin Thomas and senior Scott Strohmeyer finished just outside of the top 10 in a tie for 12th place at 4-under-par (212). Thomas carded a 2-under 70 in the final round while Strohmeyer, who entered the day in third place, shot a 2-over 74.

Redshirt freshman Tom Lovelady fired his second 69 of the tournament to post a tie for 16th at 2-under-par (216), which is the lowest 54-hole score of his career at Alabama.

The Alabama men’s golf team continues the 2013 portion of its schedule March 8-10 at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters at the Southern Highlands Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nev.

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