April 22, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s golf team had the fifth-best round Sunday at the Southeastern Conference Championship, going 6-under-par in the final three holes to finish the championship in seventh at 26-over-par on the Seaside Course (par 70, 6,898 yards) at St. Simons Island, Ga.
The Wildcats were led Sunday by junior Chase Parker and sophomore Cody Martin, who shot even- and 1-over-par, respectively. For the tournament, junior Joseph Barr and sophomore Stephen Powers paced the Wildcats with top-20 finishes, tying for 19th at 4-over-par.
“I am so proud of this team,” UK head coach Brian Craig said. “Today was extremely difficult and we showed great character by playing the final three holes at 6-under-par to finish in seventh place. We were hoping for a better finish, but this at least gives us a decent shot at making it to the postseason, which this team deserves after the way we have improved this spring. Also, hats off to Joseph Barr and Stephen Powers for playing very solid golf for all three rounds. They really kept us in there this week.”
Barr, who now holds the second-best scoring average on the team at 73.52, shot a final round 4-over-par 74 to finish at 4-over-par for the championship. Competing in his first-ever SEC Championship, Barr opened the tournament with a 1-over-par 71 before carding a 1-under-par 69 on Saturday. For the week, Barr shot even-par on the par 3s, 6-over on the par 4s and 2-under on the par 5s.
Powers finished in a tie for 19th for the second consecutive season, though he shot three strokes better in 2012. Powers carded a 3-over-par 73 Sunday after opening with a 1-over-par 71 on Friday and an even-par 70 on Saturday. Starting on the back nine, Powers made the turn at 1-over-par and found himself at 4-over-par for the round before eagling No. 7, a par-5 stretching 582 yards. Powers was 3-under-par on the par 5s throughout the week.
Parker had the best round of the day for the Cats on Sunday, carding an even-par 70 that featured three birdies and three bogeys. Parker finished in a tie for 31st at 7-over-par. Sitting at 2-over-par for his round, the Augusta, Ga., native birdied two of the final three holes to pull back to even par.
Martin, the Wildcats’ season-scoring leader, had his best round of the tournament Sunday, shooting a 1-over-par 71. Martin finished in a tie for 44th at 11-over-par. Similar to Parker, Martin birdied two of his final three holes to turn a round of 3-over-par into a round of 1-over-par.
Freshman David Snyder shot a final round 6-over-par 76 to finish in 57th at 22-over-par.
Kentucky’s final team score of 866 is its second-best score at the conference tournament since 2006.
Five teams from the SEC entered the conference championship 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 won the tournament for the second time in the last five years and for the third time ever, defeating Auburn by six strokes. Alabama finished with a final score of 828 (12-under-par), the second lowest team score in SEC Championship history (Georgia shot 827 in 2006). Alabama freshman Justin Thomas won the individual title with a final score of 7-under-par, 203.
Kentucky will now wait to learn its postseason fate. The Wildcats are on the proverbial “bubble” in hopes of earning its first bid to the NCAA Regionals since 2009. Kentucky has finished in the top-five in five tournaments this season, including its team victory at the UK Bluegrass Fall Invitational.
For all Kentucky men’s golf news and information, 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
T19. Joseph Barr – 71, 69, 74 – 214 (+4)
T19. Stephen Powers – 70, 71, 73 – 214 (+4)
T31. Chase Parker – 71, 76, 70 – 217 (+7)
T44. Cody Martin – 72, 78, 71 – 221 (+11)
57. David Snyder – 75, 81, 76 – 232 (+22)
7. KENTUCKY – 284, 294, 288 – 866 (+26)