Wildcats Set for SEC Championship
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Fresh off its best finish of the season, the University of Kentucky men's golf team returns to the course 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, April 17 and wrap up Sunday, April 19.
The Wildcats are coming off a third place finish at the Gary Koch Invitational which saw freshman Cooper Musselman earn the best finish of his young career with a third place showing. Musselman became the third different Wildcat to finish in the top five of an event this season, joining classmate Tyler `Chip' McDaniel and junior David Snyder to also achieve the feat.
Head coach Brian Craig will field a team with four first-time participants at this year's SEC Championship. UK's lineup consists of McDaniel, Musselman, Snyder, sophomore Stephen Stallings and freshman Cristian DiMarco. Only Snyder has previously participated in the chase for the league title.
"The SEC Championship is the best conference championship in all of college golf," Craig said. "The best competition, the best course and the best run event in Division I golf. This team is peaking at the right time. Our goal is to focus on what we can control and be at peace with the results. I love this team and can't wait to get started on the Seaside Course."
This marks the 15th 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.
The Seaside Course was totally reconfigured by Tom Fazio and reopened in October 1999. The new Seaside Course is the brilliant blending of Colt & Allison's original nine-hole Seaside and Joe Lee's Marshside nine into one seamless, contemporary 18-hole golf course. Tidal creeks, dunes, saltmarshes and St. Simons Sound frame the course which plays fast, firm and fun in the tradition of legendary Scottish links.
The SEC Men's Golf Championship has been played at Sea Island since 2001, with Georgia winning five of the 14 championships. Alabama has won four times, Florida has won twice, while Auburn, Kentucky 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.
Eighteen holes will be played Friday, Saturday and Sunday with fixed tee times on holes No. 1 and No. 10 at 7:30 a.m. ET. The course will feature a par-70, 6,898-yard setup.
All 14 SEC teams will be in action this weekend. The league consists of three teams ranked in the top 10 with Vanderbilt ranked No. 5, South Carolina No. 6 and LSU No. 7. Two more round out the top 25 in No. 15 Auburn and No. 25 Alabama.
Live stats will be available on golfstat.com and secsports.com throughout the event.
For more information on the University of Kentucky men's golf team please visit the team's official website and follow us on Twitter @UKmensgolf.
St. Simon Island, Ga., Sea Island: Seaside Course
Par 70, 6,898 yards
1 -- David Snyder
2 -- Tyler `Chip' McDaniel
3 -- Cooper Musselman
4 -- Stephen Stallings
5 -- Cristian DiMarco