By Andy Zunz, Golfweek
EATONTON, Ga. (March 23, 2014) -- Alabama and Georgia sat in a tie for the lead after 36 holes of the Linger Longer Invitational in Greensboro, Ga. But it was Georgia that seized the lead on Sunday, separating itself from Alabama by 10 strokes for a convincing win.
Every team seemed to struggle with the par-72, 7,073-yard Great Waters Course at Reynolds Plantation but Georgia and Alabama; the Bulldogs finished at 27 under. Georgia was the only team to finish under par on Sunday at 7 under.
After winning its first five tournaments of the year, Alabama has finished on the outside looking in at three straight events.
Georgia, the No. 5 team in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, beat out six teams ranked in the top 50. No. 1 Alabama (17 under), No. 13 Oklahoma (3 over) and No. 22 Clemson (6 over) rounded out the top four. No. 36 Mercer and No. 39 Liberty tied for fifth at 10 over.
Georgia senior Michael Cromie and Alabama freshman Robby Shelton finished 54 holes tied for first at 9 under. Cromie defeated Shelton in a one-hole playoff.
Three of the top four players on the leaderboard were Bulldogs with senior Joey Garber, No. 1 in the Golfweek rankings and sophomore Lee McCoy tying for third at 6 under. McCoy and Cromie shared the top round of the day, carding 3-under 69s on Sunday.
Cromie started the tournament dubiously, going 4 over through the first seven holes after a double bogey on No. 5 and a pair of bogeys on seven and eight. But Cromie bounced back in that round – finishing the final stretch 5 under par – and overall in the tournament, shooting two rounds in the 60s to finish. Cromie even finished up with a birdie at the par-5, 540-yard 18th hole to force the playoff.
The win was the first for Georgia this spring. The team started the spring with a third-place finish at the Puerto Rico Classic and a sixth-place showing at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters.
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