Holmes, a sophomore, fired a 1-over-par 73 in the final round, finishing with a 54-hole total of 1-under-par 215. His previous best finish was a tie for 10th place at the Turtle Bay Intercollegiate on Nov. 7.
“It is definitely a confidence booster, especially after being an alternate last year and not even knowing if I was going to play,” Holmes said. “I’m really proud to have finished in the top 10 after all of my hard work. It gives me a lot of confidence going into regionals and hopefully finals after that.”
As a team, the Volunteers fired a 10-over-par 298 in the final round and finished the tournament 17 over par. UT finished with a tournament scorecard of 296-287-298--881.
“We didn’t putt very well today, and I think we may have been trying a little too hard,” head coach Jim Kelson said. “With competition like this, you have to putt well, and we didn’t. It’s something we need to address as we get ready for the regional tournament.”
No. 2 Alabama went wire-to-wire to win this year’s title by eight strokes over No. 14 South Carolina. The Crimson Tide shot 13 under par as a team to claim their first SEC title since 1979. Michael Thompson made it a sweep for Alabama, shooting 7 under in the final round to take the individual title by four strokes. No. 1 Georgia finished in third at 2 under par followed by Florida at 8 over. Mississippi State rounded out the top five at 14 over par.
Freshman Robin Wingardh tied for 22nd at 3 over par after a 3-over-par 75 in the final round.
Senior Charlie Ford finished tied for 37th with a 54-hole total of 224, including a 4-over-par 76 on Sunday.
Junior Chris Paisley and senior Philip Pettitt rounded out the Volunteers lineup in a tie for 40th place. Paisley shot his best round of the weekend, a 2-over-par 74 while Pettitt carded his highest of the tournament, a 5-over-par 77. The pair finished 10 over par for the tournament.
The Volunteers now await the announcement of their destination for the NCAA Regional Tournament set for May 15-17.
|1.||Michael Thompson, Alabama||70-73-65--208|
|2.||George Bryan IV, South Carolina||72-71-69--212|
|Joseph Sykora, Alabama||68-73-71--212|
|4.||Brian Harman, Georgia||71-74-69--214|
|Russell Henley, Georgia||73-70-71--214|
|6.||David Holmes, Tennessee||72-70-73--215|