Jovan Rebula (Auburn Athletics/Twitter photo)
It took a four-hole playoff among teammates, but the SEC individual champion has been crowned and the match-play bracket set. Now it’s on to the exciting part at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga.
April has been a good month for Jovan Rebula, and the hard-fought SEC title goes down as his latest accomplishment. Rebula started the month with a spot in the Masters Tournament. On Friday, the Auburn junior outlasted fellow Tiger Graysen Huff in a four-hole playoff for the league crown.
"This is a true honor," Rebula said. "Coming from South Africa, I did not know what the SEC was until I started playing and, seeing the amount of great players, to have my name on that board is truly an honor.
"It is a little bittersweet because Graysen and I are close friends. I have a ton of respect for him for his golf and as a person. He's a great leader for our team. He always does the right thing. He's a great friend and an unbelievable teammate."
Rebula trailed by two shots entering the final round, but a 3-under 67 sent him to the top of the leaderboard with Huff. Both finished the tournament at 8 under.
The pair carried Auburn to the top of the team leaderboard too, which earns the Tigers the No. 1 seed on the eight-team bracket as match play begins on Saturday. Auburn, at 24 under for 54 holes, was 16 shots ahead of Vanderbilt in second place. No other team finished stroke play under par.
The championship resets now, however. The other six teams that made the match-play bracket include Texas A&M, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas and South Carolina.
"The guys really played great and proved that they can win a stroke play tournament, and that was something we really wanted to do," Auburn head coach Nick Clinard said. "We did that and we're proud of it, but now we've got to get our minds right for match play. We've got to be ready to go Saturday morning."
Information from Auburn Athletics used in this report
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