By (Elliott Propes)

Emma Talley and Janie Jackson walked off the 18th hole at Greystone Golf & Country Club as SEC women’s golf champions on Sunday. The two have known each other since they were both playing junior golf at 13-years old. Now the two seniors are at Alabama, having the season they always dreamed of.

“That’s what we keep telling each other, ‘Last year, best year,’ and so far its held true because we have just had a great spring,” Jackson said. “I know we are looking forward to the last two tournaments. It’s kind of bitter-sweet, but it would definitely be nice if we could continue to play really well in these next two, and go out with a bang.”

The two helped Alabama secure a No. 1 ranking in the nation and its first SEC championship since 2013 (and only the third in program history). Now they move on to NCAA Regionals, which Alabama will host at Shoal Creek Club in Birmingham, Alabama on May 5-7. The team actually played two practice rounds on Shoal Creek right before the spring schedule began. So the team is familiar with the course and will get some extra practice on the course beforehand since it is so close.

“It’s definitely nice to not have to travel too far to play and then also play a course that we’ve been on before,” Jackson said. “I think we have good advantage, and I know we are excited to play Shoal Creek. It’s a good course.”

Jackson and Talley both agreed that the team has benefited from being so close together. Talley even said that this year has been her favorite year.

“From the beginning of the year we have had really great team chemistry, and that’s probably one of the reasons why we do so well,” Jackson said. “Even though we are so different, we all want the best for one another, and as the year has gone on and we have done well, we have kind of realized that it is just way more fun when you are winning. So we have just continued to push each other and encourage each other.”

Coach Mic Potter was pleased with the SEC championship, and said the team gained some more valuable experience. Alabama was actually tied with Florida going into Sunday at 2-over par, but the Crimson Tide outplayed the Gators by five strokes to win at 5-under par.

“It couldn’t have been better preparation for the postseason, because it put us in a pressure situation where we had to perform,” Potter said. “It was our probably most impressive round of the year. Score-wise 7-under [5-under] is really good. We were really solid all day and wore the competition down.”

If Alabama does well enough in regionals it will move on to nationals, which will be held in Eugene, Oregon beginning May 20. Alabama has one national title, but it was the year before Talley came to Alabama. Now she and Janie said they would love to get that ring their final year.

“That [would be] a dream come true. I mean everybody wants to win a national championship,” Talley said. “We want it so bad, but the rest of the country wants it so bad too. We have a special team, and all we can do is play our best at regionals and take one tournament at a time.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports