Auburn wins first SEC Title since 2002
Auburn celebrates their first SEC title since 2002
(Auburn Athletics Photo)
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA (April 29, 2018) - It came down to a putt in the final match of the SEC Championship match. After the first four matches of golf's version of the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn were split 2-2 it came down to the anchor match between Wells Padgett of Auburn and Jonathan Hardee of Alabama.
With Hardee already laying three, Padgett just a freshman, had a birdie try from 20 feet for the title and he left no doubt, drilling the putt and lifting Auburn to their first SEC title since 2002 and fourth in program history.
Padgett held a 1 up lead with two holes remaining but Hardee, an experienced senior who asked to play the anchor match was able to even the tilt on the par-3 17th by nearly holing out for an ace with his tee shot. Left with just a few feet for birdie Hardee squared the match after Padgett's long birdie try missed.
On the closing par-4 18th Hardee played first but pushed his tee shot right and into the native sands and bushes lining the fairway at Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course. With the door cracked open Padgett did miss his tee shot to the right a bit as well but with his ball resting against the cart path he was awarded a drop that allowed for a clean look at the green from 153 yards.
Hardee, playing next, could only punch out and after Padgett found the middle of the green with his approach from the short rough it was advantage Auburn.
Early in the day four-seeded Auburn was controlling the scoreboard but midway through the match the six-seeded Crimson Tide began to change the momentum and after trailing in four of five matches early things began to level out. However, after Alabama won two of the first three matches it was all Auburn on the backend as they took the fourth and fifth matches to earn the 3-2 win.
7:30 a.m. - Lee Hodges (Alabama) defeated Jovan Rebula (Auburn) 2&1
7:40 a.m. - Trace Crowe (Auburn defeated Davis Riley (Alabama) 2&1
7:50 a.m. - Davis Shore (Alabama) defeated Ryan Knop (Auburn) 6&5
8:00 a.m. - Brandon Mancheno (Auburn) defeated Wilson Furr (Alabama) 2&1
8:10 a.m. - Wells Padgett (Auburn) defeated Jonathan Hardee (Alabama) 1 up
ABOUT THE SEC Championship
54-hole stroke play tournament crowns an individual
champion, then eight teams advance to match play
determine the SEC team champion.
View Complete Tournament Information