UK men’s golf falls short of advancing to match play


Tyler McDaniel during the second round of the Southeastern Conference Championship at Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course in St. Simons Island, Ga., on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

Chris Leach

The UK men’s golf team played their best golf in the third and final round of the SEC championship, but it was not enough to advance them to the match play portion of the championships as the Cats finished in 11th place at 17-over par.

The Cats were just five strokes away from advancing to match play, as only the top eight teams advanced. UK finished 4-under par as a team in the third round of stroke play, giving the Cats a chance for a top-eight finish after a rough first round.

“I firmly believe we would have made match play if we had had a little more golf to play,” head coach Brian Craig told UK Athletics. “Our slow start in the first round was too much to overcome, but we gave it a valiant effort.”

Stephen Stallings and Lukas Euler had the best day during the third round for the Cats, both posting a 68 (2-under par) on the Sea Island Golf Club – Seaside Course. The Seaside Course is the also the host for one of the PGA TOUR tournaments, the McGladrey Classic.

Stallings, the team’s co-captain and lone senior, birdied five straight holes on the back nine in the third round to cap off his phenomenal round. Stallings’ 68 was his first sub-70 round of the season, and helped him finish in 50th place at 10-over par.

All five of UK’s players finished at, or under-par in the third round, except for Tyler “Chip” McDaniel, who finished 1-over par. Despite the rough finish, McDaniel placed the highest for the Cats, finishing tied for 18th at 2-over par.

No. 3 nationally ranked Vanderbilt finished first as a team in the stroke play competition at 11-under par, while Florida’s Alejandro Tosti won the individual SEC title after two playoff holes.

The Cats will have to wait until May 4 to find out if they have earned at at-large bid to compete at the NCAA championships. All at-large bids will be announced on May 4 at noon on a showing on the Golf Channel.