Alabama golf wins fourth-staight Jerry Pate

Day two of the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate was much like day one for the No. 16 Alabama men’s golf team. The Crimson Tide built an eight-stroke lead after two rounds on Monday. On Tuesday, the team sealed the victory shooting 5-under par for a total of 19-under par. The team edged No. 3 Auburn by five strokes. 

Junior Robby Shelton, who is just coming off an individual win at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Collegiate Cup, lead the team again as he captured his second title in a row.

“I’ve always wanted to win this tournament,” Shelton said. "It has a lot of competition. To get it done two back-to-back feels really good.”

Shelton was on top of the individual leaderboard on Monday and came out on Sunday with a 69 to capture the individual title at 11-under par. Auburn’s Michael Johnson made a run for the money on Tuesday with his 64. Shelton outlasted him, though, by just one stroke. Shelton’s 199 is the third-best finish ever for a 54-hole tournament in program history.

“There’s a lot of pressure with the lead,” coach Jay Seawell said. “As Michael got closer, I think it energized him. I think he understood what he had to do, and I’m really proud of how he responded.”

Shelton became the first Alabama player to win the Jerry Pate since former Alabama player Justin Thomas won in 2013. He also joins other PGA players such as Michael Thompson, Bud Cauley, Hunter Mahan, Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Rory Sabbatini and D.J. Trahan as past medalist winners.

“I think Robby is the best player in the country. I’ve thought that for a few years,” Seawell said. “I think he needs to accept that and accept that responsibility in that goal to be that guy, and he really has the last three weeks. It’s been a remarkable difference.”

Shelton also had a lot of help from his teammates. Senior Tom Lovelady and sophomore Steven Setterstrom also both set 54-hole personal bests. Lovelady shot 6-under par to place third overall, while Setterstrom hit 1-under par and tied for 11th place overall.

“I’m really proud of Tom. I thought this was his best week of work since he’s been at Alabama,” Seawell said. “I was proud of his preparation and I told him on 18, remember this week”

This win gives the Crimson Tide its fourth consecutive Jerry Pate Intercollegiate title. Jerry Pate himself said during the trophy presentation that they should rename the tournament, the Jay Seawell Intercollegiate. Seawell has won it eight times.

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