NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — The Alabama Crimson Tide men's golf team will not three-peat as National Champions in 2015. Despite shooting three-under par on day three at Sagamore Golf Club in Noblesville, Ind., Alabama's deficit was too much to overcome after the team combined to go 21-over par in the first two rounds.
The Crimson Tide placed seventh out of 14 teams, three shots behind sixth place Colorado and 11 shots back of fifth place Oregon, who was the final team to qualify for Nationals. Freshman Jonathan Hardee was tops for Alabama, tying for 11th place at even-par 216, including 70 and 71 in the final two rounds.
Illinois and SMU tied for first place as Illinois shot seven-under on day three, led by individual champion Brian Campbell of Irvine, California. His 65 on Saturday paced the Fighting Illini, and set a course record at Sagamore, as well.
“Our goal was to win today. It wasn’t to come in and qualify,” Illinois coach Mike Small told Golfweek. “I have learned in tour schools and everything else. If you come in and look behind you there is stress and tension. You look ahead of you there is a goal to get.”
Illinois received stellar play from junior Charlie Danielson (T11) and freshman Nick Hardy (T21), who also placed inside the top-25.
SMU, who lost to Alabama in the first round of last year's National Championship, will be headed back without the Crimson Tide to worry about.
UNLV and UCLA took third and fourth place, respectively, rounding out the five teams advancing to the National Championship at The Concession Golf Club later this month.
Colorado, who began the tournament in the lead after an 11-under 277, shot 300-302 in the final two rounds and missed qualifying by eight. The team's lone senior, David Oraee, will be headed to Florida, though, with his second-place individual finish.