ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Behind a bogey-free five-under 65 by redshirt junior Kolton Crawford, the No. 28 Arkansas men’s golf team opened the SEC Championships on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club on Friday with a team score of one-under 279 to sit in sole possession of sixth place.
Crawford’s five-under 65 puts him in a three-way tie as the first round leader and breaks teammate Nicolas Echvarria’s program SEC Championships first round record of four-under 66 set last year at Sea Island. Coming off his second runner-up and fourth top 5 of the spring, Crawford shot three-under on the front nine, highlighted by his first eagle of the year on the par 5 7th hole, while his 65 in the lowest round by a Razorback this season.
Part of a 14-team field that features 13 programs ranked in the top 70 by Golfweek, Arkansas’ four-man score of 279 is tied for the third-best in program history at the SEC Championships. The program’s top six single-round scores at the SEC Championships have all come under head coach Brad McMakin.
Arkansas will look to shoot 280 or lower for the fourth time in its last five rounds at the SEC Championships on Saturday when it tees off from 7:20-8:00 a.m. CT. The Razorbacks will be playing alongside No. 8 South Carolina (275) and No. 4 Vanderbilt (276). Crawford will be in the last threesome taking the course at 8 a.m. and will be in the same group as fellow co-leader Matthew NeSmith of South Carolina.
Making his first SEC Championships appearance, freshman Alvaro Ortiz backed up Crawford with an even-par 70 to sit in a tie for 23rd position in the 70-player field that features 25 of Golfweek’s top 100. Redshirt sophomore Zach Coats continued his solid play in the spring with a first round 71, improving on his 72 he shot in last year’s final round at the SEC Championships. Junior Taylor Moore pushed his team-leading birdie total to 85 with five on the day during his 73 which ended with a birdie on the 18th hole. Echavarria’s 74 featured a team-leading 15 pars, including 12 straight in the middle of the round.
Live scoring of the second round can be found at www.Golfstat.com or by downloading the Golfstat Live app.
Coach McMakin Post-Round Sound
“Today was a solid start for the first round with a great round by Kolton as he continues to be very solid. We’re looking forward to putting a good team round together tomorrow to keep up with the pace going into the final round.”
T1. Kolton Crawford – 65 (-1)
T23. Alvaro Ortiz – 70 (E)
T34. Zach Coats – 71
T47. Taylor Moore – 73
T58. Nicolas Echavarria – 74
SEC Golf Championships Standings (Golfweek Ranking)
1. Alabama (21) – 269 (-11)
2. LSU (9) – 274 (-6)
T3. Auburn (6) – 275 (-5)
T3. South Carolina (8) – 275 (-5)
5. Vanderbilt (4) – 276 (-4)
6. Arkansas (28) – 279 (-1)
T7. Florida (37) – 282
T7. Georgia (29) – 282
T9. Tennessee (56) – 284
T9. Kentucky (62) – 284
11. Texas A&M (39) – 286
12. Missouri (69) – 287
13. Ole Miss (52) – 288
14. Mississippi State (127) – 289