By (James Ogletree)

The Alabama women’s golf team fired a historic final round at the SEC Championship on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough for a second straight SEC title. The team finished tied for second place, 13 shots behind the Florida Gators.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide’s final-round 275 (-13) was the lowest in SEC Championship history in both actual score and relation to par. After starting the day in seventh place, Alabama ended up tying No. 6 Georgia for second place by the end of the day.

A 295 (+7) during the tournament’s first round left Alabama tied for 10th in the 14-team field. A three-under par 285 on Saturday made up some ground, but even the record-setting final round couldn’t propel the team to a successful title defense.

“We’ve gotten progressively better,” said head coach Mic Potter. “We hit a lot of fairways and putted better today and gave ourselves more opportunities. The course was not as fast and was more receptive today. I like to think the first day was an anomaly and this is the way we play. Hopefully we continue that way going forward. Today needed to be special for us to have a chance to win but it was still pretty good. Most importantly, we wanted to establish momentum and confidence because our most important tournaments are coming up.”

Sophomore Cheyenne Knight, ranked No. 2 in the country, moved 18 spots up the leaderboard on Sunday to a tie for fifth, seven shots behind the champion. Knight shot a final-round 66 (-6), one stroke above her career best.

Freshman Kristen Gillman (T7) and sophomore Lauren Stephenson (T13) also recorded top-15 finishes. Stephenson’s 67 on Sunday was her second-lowest round of the season.

Senior Mia Landegren also shot her second-lowest score of the season, a one-under-par 71. Her T30 finish was her highest since the season-opening Mason Rudolph Championship.

Junior Lakareber Abe rounded out the Crimson Tide, tying for 50th place.

Alabama’s last tournament before the NCAA Regional will be next Saturday in Glencoe, Illinois. The tournament is a one-day match play competition among Alabama, Duke, Northwestern and Florida State.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports