McDaniel Places Second and Leads UK to Best Finish Since 2012
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Sophomore Tyler “Chip” McDaniel carded a 1-under par 69 en route to finishing in second place overall on the individual leaderboard at the Southeastern Conference Championship on Sunday. McDaniel helped lead the Kentucky men’s golf team to its best finish at the league tournament since 2012 with his second-place finish.
It is the best finish for a Kentucky player and best for a sophomore since teammate David Snyder finished in a tie for fifth in 2014 during his sophomore campaign.
Kentucky closed out the SEC Championship in seventh place, the best for a UK team since the 2012 team also placed seventh. The Wildcats fielded one of the youngest teams with three players making just their second starts and one playing in his first career league title hunt. Only Snyder entered with more than two starts at the SEC Championship this week.
Sophomore Cooper Musselman and junior Stephen Stallings both tied for 25th to turn in the best finishes of their career at the conference championship.
What Head Coach Brian Craig is Saying:
“We are super disappointed, but this experience will play dividends for this team going forward. We took a huge step forward this week, and I am so proud of the guys for their effort and attitude. I can’t wait to get in this position again heading into the final round.
“What a performance for Chip McDaniel. He played beautiful golf all week and did an excellent job of controlling his emotions in a highly competitive atmosphere. He may have fallen a couple of strokes short, but a runner-up finish in the best golf conference in Division I is not bad at all. He may just earn that crown before his Wildcat career is over.”
About the Lineup:
McDaniel was simply sensational in his second career appearance at the SEC Championship. His steady play resulted in a runner-up finish following a 1-under par 69 on the final day of competition. He finished two strokes behind the individual winner in Georgia’s Lee McCoy.
The Manchester, Ky., native had birdies on back-to-back holes on the fourth and fifth to begin his round. Outside of a bogey on the par-four 16th he was flawless for the day. Today’s finish marked the sixth top-10 finish of the season and the fifth in the top five. He has turned in 17 par or better rounds this season to easily lead the team.
Stallings and Musselman both improved upon their performances on the individual leaderboard in their second-career starts at the league championship. The duo placed in a tie for 25th overall after rounds of 78 on Sunday. Stallings posted three birdies on the afternoon including finishing his round with a birdie on the par-four No. 18 to conclude his week in stylish fashion.
Snyder capped his career at the SEC Championship in a tie for 32nd. He tallied a 77 during Sunday’s round that featured two birdies on the front nine. He was one stroke better on both the par-five seventh and the par-four ninth.
Freshman Jalen Ledger concluded his first appearance at the SEC Championship in a tie for 69th overall. Ledger fired an 80 on the final day of play, but his round featured a birdie on the par-five 15th to highlight his final round.
The Tournament Field:
Winds plagued the field all week long and Sunday was no different. Georgia fired a 5-over par to push ahead for the conference title by two strokes over Texas A&M. Florida and Arkansas tied for third and were five-strokes off of the Aggies’ pace for runner-up status.
LSU placed fifth and was followed by sixth-place finisher Auburn who edged Kentucky by just three strokes.
The SEC Network will air a one-hour Men’s Golf Championship Review Show on the SEC Network on Sunday, April 24, 2016, at 1 pm ET.
Sea Island Golf Club
St. Simons Island, Ga.
7 – Kentucky (277, 289, 302; 868)
2 – Chip McDaniel (68, 72, 69; 209)
T25 – Stephen Stallings (69, 72, 78; 219)
T25 – Cooper Musselman (70, 71, 78; 219)
T32 – David Snyder (70, 74, 77; 221)
T69 – Jalen Ledger (72, 80, 80; 232)
For the latest on the Kentucky men's golf team, follow @UKMensGolf on Twitter and on the web at UKathletics.com.