April 15, 2010
Tennessee puts its conference title hopes on the line beginning Friday when the 2010 SEC Men's Golf Championship opens at Sea Island Golf Club on St. Simons Island, Ga.
This year's event takes place on the beautiful Seaside Course, which plays to a par of 70 at 7,055 yards. This will be Tennessee's first tournament this season on a par-70 course.
Head coach Jim Kelson's lineup is a familiar fivesome of late, with Robin Wingardh, David Holmes, Darren Renwick, Garrick Porteous and Jay Vandeventer getting the nods. This weekend marks the fourth straight tournament that these five golfers have represented the Vols.
UT has been successful against conference opponents this season, defeating 15, losing to six and tying one for a .705 winning percentage. Tennessee won this championship in 2007 and has finished in the top half of the final standings seven times in Kelson's previous 11 trips to this event.
Tennessee's "Big Three" of Wingardh, Holmes and Renwick all have taken their turns at the top of Kelson's lineup card. Their stroke averages are separated by 0.49, all three have five top-20 finishes and own no fewer than 11 rounds of par or better.
Wingardh tees off Friday at 8:40 a.m. (Vols open play from the 10th tee). The junior from Morarp, Sweden, leads the team with a 72.81 scoring average, 15 rounds of par or better and three top-10s. He's coming off a sixth-place showing at the Administaff Augusta State Invitational that included a season-low round of 66.
Holmes tees off at 8:30. The Knoxville product owns three top-20s since the spring season began and has a stroke average of 72.93 to go with 11 rounds of par or better. UT's senior captain has his best SEC Championship showing two years ago when he tied for sixth.
Renwick begins play at 8:20. His stroke average is at 73.30 thanks to 12 rounds of par or better. The Worthing, England, sophomore began this season with finishes of first and third over his first three events. Renwick tied for 14th at the recent Administaff Augusta State Invitational.
Porteous tees of at 8:10. The Morpeth, England, native has been playing some of his best golf of late, finishing a career-best 12th at last month's Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational in Statesboro, Ga. The sophomore enters with a stroke average of 74.53 for 15 rounds.
Vandeventer makes his SEC tournament debut playing first for the Vols at 8 o'clock. The Bristol freshman carries a 75.05 stroke average thanks to his 71-72 finish to the Administaff Augusta State Invitational. Vandeventer is fourth on the team with seven rounds of par.
The SEC Men's Golf Championship has been played at Sea Island since 2001. Half the league schools -- Alabama, Auburn, Florida Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee -- have claimed at least one title during that time.
Winds will be brisk all weekend, no lighter than 10 mph on any day. Friday's conditions call for sunny skies and a high of 75. Live scoring is available each day through UTsports.com via golfstat.com.