April 22, 2007
The Tennessee men's golf team won its first Southeastern Conference championship in 17 years on Sunday, holding off third-ranked Alabama by two strokes in the final round of the SEC Championships at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga.
It was the third SEC championship in school history for the Volunteers and the first under ninth-year coach Jim Kelson. Their only previous titles came in 1980 and 1990. Their previous best finish under Kelson was fourth.
"The coaches are very proud of this team. We set this goal at the beginning of the year and have worked hard at achieving this goal," said head coach Jim Kelson. "They paid the price to be successful and they deserve to win this championship...their efforts, desire and their great team chemistry were a big part of our win."
Tennessee ended the day with a team score of 5-over-par 285 to maintain its second-round lead and finish the tournament 29 over par.
Three players finished in the top 10 for the Vols, led by sophomore Chris Paisley and senior Tino Weiss, who both finished in a tie for second place at 5-over-par 215. Auburn's Patton Kizzire took home the individual championship at 1 over par.
Paisley's 1-under-par 69 was UT's best individual round on Sunday. Weiss shot a 1-over-par 71. The second-place finish was the best of the year for each of them.
Weiss, a senior, has historically done well at SECs. Three of the last four years, his season-best finish has come on the links at Sea Island Golf Club. Before this year, he had finished tied for 31st and 35th.
"Its means a lot to me, especially as a senior, to finish with a championship like this...," Weiss said. "To play well on this kind of stage and with this kind of pressure again, meant a lot to me and proved a lot to me that I am on the right track and I can play with the best players out there."
Junior Charlie Ford came in eighth at 7 over par, wrapping up his third top-10 finish of the season with a 1-over-par 71 on Sunday.
Philip Pettitt tied for 23rd place at 12 over par after firing a 4-over-par 74 in the final round.
Freshman David Holmes finished the tournament in 59th place after shooting a 12-over-par 82 in the final round.
Auburn, Mississippi and No. 9-ranked Florida rounded out the top five in the team standings, while top-ranked Georgia finished sixth.
The Vols now will advance to the NCAA East Regional, which will be played May 17-19 at The Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Ga.
|2007 SEC Championship|
|1||Patton Kizzire, Auburn||72-69-70=211|
|T2||Chris Paisley, Tennessee||76-70-69=215|
|T2||Tino Weiss, Tennessee||74-70-71=215|
|T4||Tyler Brown, Florida||75-69-72=216|
|T4||Andrew Landry, Arkansas||73-72-71=216|
|T4||Will Roebuck, Mississippi||69-75-72=216|
|T4||Michael Thompson, Alabama||77-72-67=216|
|8||Charles Ford, Tennessee||75-71-71=217|