Louisiana State wins SEC Championship by three
(Photo courtesy of SEC Sports)
(Photo courtesy of SEC Sports)

SEA ISLAND, Ga. — With defending champion Alabama leading LSU by three entering the SEC Championship final round, it was shaping up to be a classic shootout at Sea Island Golf Club. And though it ended up being so, the Crimson Tide were not involved on the back nine of Sunday's final round.

LSU and Vanderbilt fought against one another down the stretch, with the Tigers going two-under their final six holes to capture the team's first SEC title since 1987. Alabama shot 10-over on Sunday — the third highest final round among the 14 teams — and settled for a fourth place finish.

The Tigers were led by senior Stewart Jolly of Birmingham, Ala., who finished in a tie for fourth place at five-under par 205. His final-round 69 included a stellar, bogey-free back nine of 32. His eagle on the par-five 15th, followed by a birdie on the par-three 17th pushed LSU to their 16th conference title in the team's history.

Junior Zach Wright and sophomore Brandon Pierce also secured top-10 finishes for LSU, with Wright shooting 70 on Sunday for a T6 finish while Pierce posted 72 to finish tied for 8th.

At a point early in the back nine, Vanderbilt held a slim lead over LSU. But going five-over in their final five holes, including three double-bogeys, allowed LSU to move in and capture the tournament by three strokes. Senior Hunter Stewart led the Commodores with a final-round 68 and a T4 finish. Junior Zack Jaworski also posted 68 on Sunday, but double- bogeyed the 18th hole.

Running away with the individual title was South Carolina junior Matt NeSmith. His six-shot win and 54-hole total of 14-under par 196 helped his generally struggling Gamecocks team to a runner-up finish, which they shared with Vanderbilt. Shooting rounds of 65- 64-67, NeSmith almost single-handedly won the SEC title for South Carolina as the rest of his team averaged 4.5 strokes over par for the tournament.

Alabama sophomore Robby Shelton took third place despite his four-over par 74 on day three. Shelton got off to a hot start with two birdies in his first seven holes, but made two double-bogeys on his final nine holes. Taking second place was Auburn freshman Ben Schlottman at eight- under par 202. The North Carolina native led his Tigers to a tied-for-fourth finish alongside rival Alabama.

Results For Southeastern Conference Men's Golf Championship
1SCMatt NeSmithNorth Augusta, SC80065-64-67=196
2NCBen SchlottmanAdvance, NC50067-65-70=202
3ALRobby SheltonWilmer, AL40065-65-74=204
T4ALStewart JollyBirmingham, AL40068-68-69=205
T4KYHunter StewartNicholasville, KY40070-67-68=205

View full results for Southeastern Conference Men's Golf Championship

ABOUT THE SEC Championship

54-hole stroke play tournament crowns an individual champion, then eight teams advance to match play to determine the SEC team champion.

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