Bama Is No. 1 In Auburn Next Week

Bobby Wyatt

The University of Alabama men's golf team earned its 10th straight invitation to NCAA postseason competition on Monday when it was selected to compete in the 2014 NCAA Auburn Regional on May 15-17 at the Auburn University Club.

Alabama won the 2013 NCAA Championship and is ranked first in the nation going into this year's tournament. The Crimson Tide of Coach Jay Seawell is coming off a dominating performance in winning its third consecutive Southeastern Conference championship last weekend in St. Simon's Island, Ga. It was Alabama's seventh tournament title in the 10 events it has played on the year.

Senior Bobby Wyatt fired both an Alabama and SEC Championship 54-hole record of 18-under par 192 on his way to SEC medalist honors and enters NCAA play ranked No. 36 in the nation, according to Golfstat.com. Wyatt is not the only Tide golfer to make waves this season. Alabama enters NCAA play boasting three players among the top-40 individuals in the nation. Along with Wyatt, freshman Robby Shelton is ranked No. 12 in the nation, while senior Trey Mullinax checks in at No. 40 nationally.

"We are excited to get a top seed and stay close to home in the Auburn Regional," Alabama Coach Jay Seawell said. "Now that we know where we will be playing, it is time to focus on a challenging test of golf on the home course of one of our SEC rivals. Our team has lofty goals, and we have to get ready for the task that lies ahead."

It is the fifth time in the last seven years the Crimson Tide has earned a No. 1 seed at an NCAA Regional. The Tide was also a No. 1 seed in 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013, advancing to the NCAA Championships in all four seasons. UA was a No. 2 seed in 2009 when it won the NCAA Galloway (N.J.) Regional.

Last year, the Tide rallied to win the Baton Rouge (La.) Regional on its way to capturing the program's first-ever national title.

Since Seawell's arrival in Tuscaloosa prior to the 2002-03 season, the Crimson Tide has qualified for 10 straight NCAA postseasons and 11 overall, including seven NCAA Championship appearances (2005, 2007-09, 2011-13). The 2014 selection is the 23rd overall NCAA appearance in school history.

The NCAA men's golf tournament is in the fifth year of a new format adopted for the 2009 season. The old 30-team, three-regional was replaced by a six-regional schedule. Three of the regionals will have fields of 13 teams and 10 individuals, with the other three consist of 14 teams and five individuals each for a total of 75 players at each site. The NCAA Auburn Regional will consist of 14 teams and five individuals.

The top five teams and the top individual not on an advancing team will qualify from each regional site for the NCAA Division I Men's Championship at the Prairie Dunes Country Club in Wichita, Kan., on May 23-28. The finals will consist of 30 teams and will be cut to the top eight teams after 54 holes of stroke play. Those eight teams will then face off in three rounds of match play to determine the national champion. The individual winner is crowned after the end of stroke play (54 holes).

Joining Alabama in the NCAA Auburn Regional will be No. 2-seed Virginia Tech, No. 3 Texas, No. 4 Auburn, No. 5 New Mexico, No. 6 BYU, No. 7 Kennesaw State, No. 8 Colorado, No. 9 Louisville, No. 10 UNC-Greensboro, No. 11 UC-Davis, No. 12 Sam Houston State, No. 13 St. John's and No. 14 Alabama State.

The field will also include individuals Blake Morris (Ole Miss), JD Tomlinson (Florida), Jared Bettcher (Troy), Marco Iten (Austin Peay) and Theodore Lederhausen (Harvard).

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