The Alabama Crimson Tide Golf Team (U. of Alabama photo)
RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico (February 23, 2016) – The
No. 13 Alabama won its third straight tournament
today, claiming the 2016 Puerto Rico Classic title
behind a three-day, 54-hole total of 25-under par
Alabama cruised to a nine-stroke victory at the
event which it has dominated -- this was the
Crimson Tide's fifth Puerto Rico Classic title in the
last six years.
Alabama Junior Robby Shelton
fired a 7-under par 65 during Tuesday’s final 18
holes and claimed medalist honors with a
tournament total of 11-under par 205 (70-70-65).
Shelton, who was recently named to the Ben Hogan Award Watch List,
captured his third tournament title this season and
the sixth of his career.
Meanwhile, sophomore Jonathan Hardee,
who was the clubhouse leader after 36 holes,
finished runner-up at the event. The Greer, S.C.,
native not only earned a career-best finish, but also
carded the lowest 54-hole tournament total during
his time at Alabama, as he closed play one stroke
back of Shelton with a 10-under par 206 (67-70-69).
“It’s great to get off to a good start to the spring
season,” said Alabama head coach Jay Seawell.
“Everybody did a great job in preparation here. I am
really proud of how the team responded today. We
won the day with the lead. Robby was terrific today
and I thought Jonathan really pushed him. I am
proud with how the two of them played and how
Robby played with the lead.”
After holding a narrow one-stroke lead over
Clemson after 36 holes, the Tide had four players
shoot below par on its way to a 12-under par 276 on
Tuesday. As a result, Alabama was eight shots better
in the tournament’s final day than its next closest
competitor and finished nine strokes ahead of second
place finisher No. 11 Clemson (848). Georgia (851),
ranked 14th in the nation entering the event, came in
third, while Kentucky (853) and No. 16 North
Carolina (855) rounded out the top five, respectively.
Notable individual performances came from Carter Page of North
Carolina State, who fired 66 in the final round (just
one more than Shelton's tournament-low 65) to
finish in solo third at 8-under. Tied for fourth at
6-under were William Register
of North Carolina, Stephen Behr of
Clemson, and David Kocher of Maryland.
Freshman Davis Riley tied for 11th overall with a
3-under par 213 (68-74-71) on the 6,945-yard, par-
72 River Course at the Rio Mar Country Club.
Sophomore Tyler Hitchner gave the Tide four
top-25 golfers who finished under par for the
tournament, as the Tuscaloosa, Ala., native closed
play with a 1-under par 215 (71-73-71) and tied for
25th overall. Senior Tom Lovelady rounded out the
Alabama golfers as he tied for 49th with a 54-hole
total of 223 (74-74-75).
The Tide has now won three consecutive
tournament titles for the first time since winning
three straight during the spring of 2014.
- University of Alabama Athletics contributed to
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