Lee Hodges earns medalist honors at Puerto Rico ClassicBy Tyler Martin | 02/20/2018 8:50pm
Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics.
Senior Lee Hodges finished the final round of the 2018 Puerto Rico Classic claiming medalist honors after scoring 7-under par 206 through 72 holes on Tuesday. No 1. Alabama finished fifth with a score of 14-over par 866 (286-292-288).
“I am really proud of Lee,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said in a press release. “I thought he did an extraordinary job in preparation. You could see today happening almost three weeks ago by the way he practiced. I think the fruits of his labor was seen throughout this week.”
Throughout the three-day event Hodges was brilliant. He finished the first two rounds without recording a bogey. Hodges started the final round with birdies on the first three holes, which would give him a lead he would not relinquish. He finished the round with a score of even par 71 and two strokes above second-place finisher, Clemson’s Turk Pettit.
“I thought I played solid all week,” Hodges said. “I was able to put the ball in good spots. The wind was really blowing hard. If I was in a position where I could attack, I did just that. But if I was out of position, even by a little, I just tried to hit it in the middle of the green and two-putt from there. I just tried to play smart and was able to hit it really well.”
After receiving medalist honors, Hodges becomes the sixth Crimson Tide golfer to do so at the Puerto Rico Classic and the first to win the event since Robby Shelton in 2016. The win marked Hodges’ second individual title since he transferred from UAB where he won his first of three tournament victories at the Shoal Creek Intercollegiate.
Golfstat.com’s no. 1 player, junior Davis Riley, finished tied for third overall with a score of 4-under par 209 (68-71-70). The top-five finish is Riley’s fourth top-five finish in five tournaments this year.
Of the 75-man field, Hodges and Riley were two of six golfers who shot below par at the 6,716-yard Rio Mar County Club – Ocean Course.
Freshman Wilson Furr finished tied for 52nd after a three-day score of 13-over par 226 (75-76-75). Senior Jonathan Hardee tied for 57th at par 228 (79-77-72). Rounding out the Tide’s starting five is senior Steven Setterstrom, who placed 61st overall at par 229 (76-77-76).
Outside of the Tide’s starting five, sophomore Josh Sedeno and freshman Davis Shore competed as individuals in a 23-man field during the event. Sedeno finished sixth with a score of 8-over par 224 (74-74-76) and Shore tied for ninth with a score of 10-over par 226 (75-78-73).
No. 16 Clemson (par 854) won the team title by one stroke over defending national champions No. 8 Oklahoma (par 855). Host of the Puerto Rico Classic, Purdue, finished third and No. 7 Georgia Tech finished fourth, which was seven strokes ahead of Alabama.
Next up for the Tide is the Southern Highlands Masters on March 5-7 in Las Vegas, Nev.