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Alabama entered this weekend’s LSU Invitational ranked 28th in the Golfstat Division I men’s rankings.
The Crimson Tide now will likely drop significantly thanks to a series of unfortunate events.
Alabama finished last in the 15-team field Sunday at University Club in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but it wasn’t because they played that poorly. Instead, the Crimson Tide were disqualified after they were unable to get four counting scores for Saturday’s second round.
Senior Davis Shore couldn’t compete in the final 36 holes after re-injuring his back after an opening 81, which meant that Alabama had no margin for error for the remainder of the tournament. The shorthanded Tide went out and shot even-par 288 to enter Sunday in eighth place, but when they were warming up Sunday morning, it was discovered that freshman J.P. Cave had signed for an incorrect score the day before. He had actually made a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 15th but signed for a bogey.
“It was a strange all that occurred,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said in a school release. “… I’ve been coaching for 29 years and this is the first time I’ve ever had a kid sign for an incorrect card. Those are the rules of golf and that responsibility at the end of the day falls on me as the head coach. I hate it for the guys because I really wanted to see how they would compete as a team and we didn’t get that opportunity. In the end, life has a lot of learning experiences and sometimes they are harder than others, but it is just a game and just golf and we will learn from it. We’ll make sure to do some things to talk about and move forward on and we’ll do some things in the future where certain things won’t happen.
“I look forward to seeing how we handle it. That’s what we talked about at the end the round. This can define us negatively or positively depending on how we handle it. I believe in the character of this team and we’ll go to work to make sure we are positive.”
This isn’t the first time that a team has been disqualified after having both an individual WD and DQ in the same round. Two seasons ago, both Iowa and SMU had DQs for similar circumstances. The Mustangs ended up receiving a No. 10 seed that year at regionals and went on to advance all the way to match play at the NCAA Championship. It’s unlikely that Alabama misses a regional this year, especially with no .500 rule in place because of the pandemic.
Mid-tournament substitutions are allowed in men’s golf but only beginning at conference championships. Discussions on regular-season subs stalled last year.
Alabama did tee it up in Sunday’s third round for individual purposes. Senior Wilson Furr ended up firing 68 to finish solo third, five shots behind medalist Jackson Suber of Ole Miss. Illinois won the team title at 12 over, two shots better than runner-up Vanderbilt and 13 clear of Florida, which led after 36 holes before shooting 22 over on Sunday and placing fifth.