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Justin Thomas Leads; Alabama Golf Second at Schenkel Invitational
The Crimson Tide’s Justin Thomas shoots 67 for first-round lead; UA two shots back of Texas
STATESBORO, Ga. – Justin Thomas fired an opening-round 67 to take the individual lead and propel the second-ranked Alabama men's golf team into second place with a 6-under-par round of 282 on Friday at the Schenkel Invitational on the par-72, 6,952-yard Forest Heights Country Club.
Texas shot 8-under-par 280 to take the first-round by two shots over the Crimson Tide. Florida is in third place at 3-under-par 285 with Central Florida fourth at 3-over 291. UAB (+4, 292) and Vanderbilt (+4, 292) are tied for fifth.
Thomas, of Goshen, Ky., finished with a 1-shot lead after a closing birdie on the 564-yard, par-5 18th hole. He got off to a blazing starter with four birdies in his opening-six holes and made the turn at 4-under 32. Thomas then birdied the 12th only to turn around and make his only bogey of the day on No. 13 for a 5-under-par total.
There are four players one shot back of Thomas at 4-under-par 68. The group includes a pair of Longhorns, Kramer Hickok and Brandon Stone along with Vanderbilt’s Charlie Ewing and UCF’s Jose Joia.
Alabama’s first round got a big boost over the final three holes from junior Cory Whistett and Bobby Wyatt. The pair birdied both the 16th and 18th holes to finish at 2-under-par 70 in a tie for sixth place.
Redshirt freshman Tom Lovelady was the Tide’s final counter toward the team score with a 3-over-par 75. He is tied for 45th. Scott Strohmeyer is tied for 73rd after carding a 6-over 78. Lee Knox played as an individual and shot 74 to tie for 30th after the first round.
Alabama will be paired with Texas and Florida in the second round. The Tide’s Scott Strohmeyer will get things started for UA with a 9:30 a.m. tee time off the first tee.
Christopher Walsh covers Alabama football for BamaOnline, 247Sports, and is the author of 18 books.
Alabama Women’s Golf Second at SunTrust Gator Invitational
Stephanie Meadow tied for individual lead at 2-under-par 68
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Alabama junior Stephanie Meadow finished the first round of the SunTrust Gator Women’s Invitational in a tie for first place at 2-under-par 68 on the par-70, 6,002-yard Mark Bostick Golf Course on the campus of the University of Florida.
The No. 2 Crimson Tide is one shot back of Oklahoma in the team race. UA shot 6-over-par 286 on Friday while the fourth-ranked Sooners shot 5-over 285 with host Florida only four shots out of the lead at 9-over 289. Miami (Fla.) is fourth at 10-over 290 with Oklahoma State and Mississippi State tied for fifth at 13-over 293.
“Stephanie is hitting a lot of fairways and a lot of greens,” Alabama head coach Mic Potter said. “Her short game is always good enough that when she makes a mistake, she can save her momentum and go birdie the next hole. She is solid and we know that, but now we have to get better scores from our fourth and fifth players.”
Meadow, from Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, shot even par on the front side with birdies on the third and fifth holes followed by bogeys on No. 7 and No. 9. Back-to-back birdies on the 11th and 12th holes moved her to 2-under-par, and she finished with six straight pars to equal Virginia’s Portland Rosen for the first-round lead.
True freshman Emma Talley also carded a top-10 round on Friday with an even-par 70 that left her in a tie for seventh place. She played the front nine in 1-over par but sandwiched a bogey at the 15th between birdies on the par-5 12th and the par-4 17th for a 70. It was Talley’s third straight round of par or better and her ninth such round this season.
Junior Hannah Collier and sophomore Daniela Lendl were the Crimson Tide’s third and fourth counting scores in round one. Collier is tied for 20th at 3-over-par 73 while Lendl shot 5-over 75 and is tied for 32nd. Jennifer Kirby was the Tide’s drop score with a 76 and is tied for 39th.
The Crimson Tide will play with Oklahoma and Florida again on Saturday in the second round of the SunTrust Gator Women’s Invitational.
Just glad Cal isn't in the men's field. They are so far beyond everyone else right now. Amazing golf team they have.
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