Men’s Golf Begins Postseason at SEC Championship
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky men’s golf team returns to action in the Southeastern Conference Championship this weekend in St. Simons Island, Ga., at the highly regarded Sea Island Golf Club. The three-day, 54-hole tournament will begin Friday and wrap up on Sunday. The Wildcats will be among the field of the most competitive conference in the country vying for a league crown.
What Head Coach Brian Craig is Saying:
"This is the best conference championship in all of Division I at one of the finest championship courses in our country. The Seaside Course is fair, but demanding and fits our team pretty well. With the severe wind forecast this week, it looks to be the most challenging test we have had in many years down here. The guys and I love it and could not be more excited to compete."
About the Lineup:
The starting lineup will feature senior David Snyder, junior Stephen Stallings, sophomores Tyler ‘Chip’ McDaniel and Cooper Musselman, and freshman Jalen Ledger.
McDaniel looks to replicate his successes at Sea Island from his freshman season where he placed in the top 15 during his first-ever postseason tournament. The sophomore currently leads the team with 15 par or better rounds during the 2015-16 campaign.
Musselman has enjoyed a productive spring where he’s led the team as an individual finisher in three of the four tournaments. He’s also generated a team-high 10 par or better rounds and leads the team in stroke average over the last four tournaments with a 72.25 clip.
Snyder returns for his final appearance at the SEC Championship after a career of successes at Sea Island. The senior led the Wildcats at the Hootie at Bulls Bay intercollegiate just over a week ago where he finished in a tie for 26th individually. Earlier in the season, the Somerset, Ky., native carded a season-low 4-under par score at the Schenkel, leading the Wildcats to their best team finish in the Craig era. Snyder carded a 5-under par, 205, at the SEC Championship as a sophomore and finished in a tie for fifth for his top career performance in the postseason.
Stallings has also seen success during the spring campaign, charting a career-low with a round of 65 at the Schenkel, earning a tie for 15th on the individual leaderboard. The junior has finished in the top 20 in four tournaments so far this season and returns to Sea Island for his second-consecutive SEC Championship start.
Ledger will make his SEC Championship debut on Friday, marking his second start of the spring campaign and his third start in the 2015-16 season. The Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., native earned his first ever top-10 placement at The Ocean Course for his best performance of the season.
The Tournament Field:
The SEC consists of two teams ranked in the top 10 in No. 6 Auburn and No. 7 Vanderbilt, with five more rounding out the top 25 as No. 13 South Carolina, No. 14 LSU, No. 17 Alabama, No. 18 Florida, and No. 23 Arkansas all own national rankings.
The SEC Men's Golf Championship has been played at Sea Island since 2001, with Georgia winning five of the 15 championships. Alabama has won four times, Florida has won twice, while Auburn, Kentucky, LSU and Tennessee have each won one conference tournament title during that time. UK's title came in 2005 led by J.B. Holmes, the league's Golfer of the Year that season.
LSU finished at 13-under 827 at the 2015 SEC Championship to win the conference title for the first time since 1987 and 16th all-time.
About the Course:
This marks the 16th year for the SEC Championship to be contested on the Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course. The SEC has conducted its annual championship on St. Simons Island since 2001 (Seaside Course 2001-2007, 2010-2014; Frederica Golf Club 2008-2009). Since 1927, the Sea Island Golf Club has enjoyed a legacy as one of America's premier golf clubs.
Rated No. 1 in the U.S. among the "World's 50 Best Golf Hotels" by Golf Digest Index, Sea Island Golf Club offers three exceptional 18-hole championship courses. The Seaside Course, home to the PGA TOUR's McGladrey Classic, is a links course graced by majestic ocean vistas in the tradition of St. Andrews.
Originally designed in 1929 by famed architects Harry S. Colt and Charles Alison, the Seaside Course was updated in 1999 by Tom Fazio – earning it a prominent place on Golf Digest's list of "Top 100 Courses in the United States."
Players will tee off with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. ET on Friday for the 54-hole event. Teams will be paired based on the results from the first two rounds and will play 18 holes every day, concluding on Sunday. Fans can follow along with the action on www.golfstat.com.
Sea Island Golf Club
St. Simons Island, Ga.
1 – Chip McDaniel
2 – Stephen Stallings
3 – Cooper Musselman
4 – David Snyder
5 –Jalen Ledger