By (James Ogletree)

The Alabama men’s golf team won its quarterfinal match of the SEC Championship vs. LSU on Sunday before falling to Texas A&M in the semifinals.

This year’s SEC Championship featured a new format in which teams played three rounds over Friday and Saturday, with the top eight teams advancing to single elimination match play. Each player played a match against an opposing player; whichever team won more matches advanced to the next round.

The Crimson Tide, seeded 6th, upset LSU, the No. 3 seed and No. 7 team in the country, 3.5-1.5 in the quarterfinals. Junior Lee Hodges defeated LSU’s Sam Burns, ranked No. 3 nationwide, on the second extra hole. Redshirt freshman Josh Sedeno and junior Jonathan Hardee also earned full points, and sophomore Davis Riley added a half-point.

Alabama then advanced to play second-seeded Texas A&M, who swept Missouri 5-0 in the quarterfinals. The Aggies defeated the Crimson Tide 3-2, with Hodges and Hardee again winning their matches.

In the stroke play portion of the tournament, the team finished sixth out of 14 teams, 22 shots behind champion Vanderbilt.

Alabama began the tournament with a 275 (-5), which put it in third place. It added an 8-over-par 288 Friday afternoon and another 288 on Saturday to drop to sixth place at 11-over-par 851.

Three Alabama golfers were in the top ten after 18 holes: Riley (after a career-low 66), Sedeno and Hardee. Riley was tied for the tournament lead midway through the second round, but recorded a 5-over-par back nine. He finished in 11th place for the tournament, eight shots behind the champion.

Sedeno finished T27 and matched his career-low round, 68, in the first round. Hodges and Hardee tied for 36th, and junior Steven Setterstrom added a 60th-place finish.

“Our guys have done a phenomenal job of making themselves an NCAA-caliber team,” head coach Jay Seawell said. “We’ll go home and rest a couple of days – today was a draining, emotional day… We will find out soon where we are going to go for regionals. Once we know that, we will focus on getting back to work and getting ready for the second part of the championship season which is the NCAAs.”

Alabama’s next tournament will be the NCAA Regional from May 15-17. Its location has yet to be announced.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports