FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 23 Arkansas men’s golf team will make its 25th Southeastern Conference Championship appearance this weekend, traveling to St. Simons, Georgia and Sea Island Golf Club looking for its second SEC title in program history.
The conference championship returns to Sea Island Golf Club for the seventh consecutive year, as all 14 teams will assemble at the par 70, 6,898-yard course on April 15-17. Live scoring is available at Golfstat.com or via the Golfstat Live app.
Date: Friday-Sunday, April 15-17
Course: Seaside Course, Sea Island Golf Club
Location: St. Simons Island, Ga.
Razorback Lineup (Stroke Average)
1. Taylor Moore, Sr. (71.4)
2. Alvaro Ortiz, So. (72.7)
3. Nicolas Echavarria, Sr. (72.2)
4. Kolton Crawford, R-Sr. (73.3)
5. Charles Kim, Fr. (74.2)
Steady in the SEC
The Razorbacks have finished in the top six at the SEC Championship seven straight years under head coach Brad McMakin, making it the only SEC program to accomplish the feat. Arkansas’ best finish under McMakin came in 2009, posting a runner-up finish led by current #ProHogs David Lingmerth and his top-five individual finish at four-under.
Arkansas has posted four top five finishes this spring, including a victory at the All-American Intercollegiate after trailing by 22 shots on the opening day. The comeback win gave the Razorbacks at least one victory in each of the last nine seasons.
For the second time in program history, Arkansas has three individual winners in a season, joining Jack O’Keefe, Bud Steele and David White who all captured titles in 1993. This time Taylor Moore, Nicolas Echavarria and Alvaro Ortiz have all entered the winner’s circle this spring, joining LSU as the only programs in the SEC to do so in 2016.
Four of the five Razorbacks in the starting lineup this week have played in the SEC Championship at Sea Island Golf Club, while two players will take the course for the fourth time in their career. Moore and Crawford have each played nine tournament rounds at the venue, while Echavarria has played six and Ortiz made his debut last year. Freshman Charles Kim will make his first appearance this weekend.
Chasing the Title
Arkansas has two individual SEC Champions in the last 21 years, as Sebastian Cappelen captured the title at eight-under in 2013 and Bud Still found himself atop the leaderboard in 1995 at 10-under. A Razorback individual title this weekend would be the second in the last four seasons.
Lucky Number Seven
Moore was electric during a three-week period this spring, posting seven consecutive rounds under par, including five of those in the 60’s. He shot 66 and 68 to come storming back and record his first collegiate victory at the All-American Intercollegiate and followed that up with a second place finish at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate and a third place showing at the Southern Intercollegiate. In all, the senior went three tournaments and 29 days posting every score in red figures.
The SEC Championship features a loaded field with nine of the 14 teams ranked in the top 30 in the country, including three squads in the nation’s top 10. Arkansas played six of the ranked SEC opponents during the spring season and beat four of them, while coming up just three shots shy of knocking off then No. 2 Georgia on its home course. The Razorbacks have head-to-head spring victories over No. 12 LSU, No. 13 South Carolina, No. 18 Florida and No. 27 Texas A&M.
For more information on Arkansas men’s golf, follow @RazorbackMGolf on Twitter.