By (Ehsan Kassim)

After winning the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate the previous four years and eight times in the past ten years, the Alabama men’s golf team fell short of adding another victory when the two-day tournament concluded Tuesday.

No. 24 Alabama began the final day in eighth place, but after scoring the third-lowest team score of the day at 4-over par 284, the Crimson Tide catapulted itself into fifth place overall for the tournament.

Auburn, the No. 3-ranked team in the country, was able to narrowly edge No. 42 UNLV with a score of even par 840

Despite the lower-than-usual finish for the team, Alabama coach Jay Seawell saw plenty of positives to take from the tournament, as well as some learning lessons.

“We are just trying to get better with baby steps,” Seawell said. “We are getting out of the macro and into the micro, getting them more into the day to day and shot to shot. I think our guys did a really good job. I think they are starting to show signs of wanting to compete, and not getting down on themselves or trying to hard when things aren’t going their way.”

Junior Lee Hodges, a transfer from UAB, led the way for the Crimson Tide. Hodges finished third overall with a 54-hole total of 4-under par 206. The third place finish is Hodges’ the seventh top-five and 11th top-10 finish in his career. Both those feats marked his first at Alabama.

Junior Steven Setterstrom collected his third career top-25 tournament finish, as he finished 24th at 7-over par 217. He tied his career-low round of 67 in the secound round Monday.

“I am proud they didn’t hang their heads, and I think they ran through the tape which is all you can ask for as a coach,” Seawell said. “We still have a lot of work to do. We are a pretty good way from being on top of the leaderboard but, [Tuesday] especially, was a nice step forward.”

Alabama will have a chance to rebound from this tournament and build on its success from Day 2 at the end of the month, as it travels to Pebble Beach, California, on Oct. 31 through Nov. 1 to compete in the Cypress Point Classic hosted by Stanford University.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports