Men's Golf in Fifth after First Round of SEC Championship

April 20, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s golf team carded a first-round score of 4-over-par 284 on Friday at the Southeastern Conference Men’s Golf Championship at St. Simons Island, Ga., and sit in fifth-place as a team going into the second round.

The Wildcats, led by an even-par round from sophomore Stephen Powers, shot their best team-round at the SEC Championship since the second round of the 2009-10 championship. Playing on the Seaside Course (par 70, 6,898 yards), UK head coach Brian Craig said the team needs to stay patient during the second and third rounds.

“We played solid golf all day today on a difficult Seaside Course,” Craig said. “Patience will be the key as we continue play over the next 36 holes. We just need to keep doing what we are doing which is playing smart, aggressive golf.”

Powers led Kentucky with his even-par 70. The sophomore got off to a hot start, making the turn at 2-under-par and birdying No. 10 to go to 3-under-par. Trouble on holes 13-16 slowed Powers’ pace, but he still stands in a tie for 14th going into Saturday’s second round. Friday’s round was Powers’ 10th even- or under-par round of the year. The Naperville, Ill., native was UK’s No. 2 finisher in last year’s SEC Championship, finishing in a tie for 19th at 7-over-par.

Juniors Joseph Barr and Chase Parker are each tied for 20th at 1-over-par. Barr had a consistent round for the most part, making the turn at 2-over-par, before birdying No. 11, a par-4, and then parring the final seven holes. Parker had an up-and-down round at the Seaside Course. After carding back-to-back bogeys in his opening two holes, the Augusta, Ga., native immediately rebounded with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 3 and 4 to get back to even par. Parker finished his round with four birdies and five bogeys on his scorecard.

The junior duo boasts very similar season statistics, as they each hold scoring averages of 73.65 and each had their best finishes of the year come at the Bearcat Invitational where they finished in a tie for third.

Sophomore Cody Martin, who has led Kentucky this year with a team-best scoring average of 73.10, shot a 2-over-par 72. Martin birdied the first hole but bogeys at Nos. 4, 5 and 13 dropped him back to 2-over.

Freshman David Snyder, who had the second-best scoring average on the team going into the championship, shot a 5-over-par 75 in his first-ever SEC Championship.

Live results of the second round of the SEC Championship are available at UKathletics.com.

Five teams from the SEC are ranked in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin top 25, including No. 2 Alabama, No. 4 Auburn, No. 9 Arkansas, No. 17 LSU and No. 23 Florida. Georgia checks in just outside of the top 25 this week at No. 26.

Alabama leads the tournament by one stroke after carding an 8-under-par 272. Georgia is in second at 7-under-par. Alabama’s Bobby Wyatt sits atop the players leaderboard after carding an opening-round 5-under-par 65.

The SEC Men’s Golf Championship has been played at Sea Island since 2001. During that time, Georgia has five championships, Florida has won two, while Kentucky, Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee have each won one conference title.

Kentucky finished ninth last year at 45-over-par. Parker led Kentucky with a 12th-place-finish after a 5-over-par, 215. Powers also had a top-20 finish, coming in a tie for 19th. Florida (8-over-par, 848) won last year’s tournament with a six-stroke victory over second-place Alabama. Florida’s Andres Echavarria (1-under-par, 209) defeated LSU’s John Peterson in a playoff to take home the individual crown.

For more Kentucky men’s golf news and information, including daily recaps and results from the SEC Men’s Golf Championship, follow the Wildcats on Twitter at “UKmensgolf” and go to UKathletics.com.

2012 SEC Men’s Golf Championship
Sea Island Golf Club – Seaside Course
Par 70 – 6,898 yards

First Round Results
T14. Stephen Powers – 70 – 70 (E)
T20. Joseph Barr – 71 – 71 (+1)
T20. Chase Parker – 71 – 71 (+1)
T30. Cody Martin – 72 – 72 (+2)
T48. David Snyder – 75 – 75 (+5)
5. KENTUCKY – 284 – 284 (+4)