NCAA men's golf: Tide advances with a blowout
by Marq Burnett
MILTON, Ga. -- While every other match seemed to come down to the wire, No. 3-seeded Alabama left nothing to chance. The Crimson Tide routed sixth-seeded New Mexico 4-1 in the match-play quarterfinals of the NCAA men’s golf tournament Friday.

The victory on the Crabapple Course at the Capital City Club earned the Crimson Tide a date with second-seeded host Georgia Tech at 9:45 a.m. Saturday for a spot in Sunday's finals. No. 1 seeded California defeated Arizona State to advance to the semifinals on the other side of the bracket and will face No. 5-seed Illinois at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

“I thought we looked a little freer, more comfortable,” Alabama coach Jay Seawell said. “We talked about it last night. I thought we hadn’t played our best golf. We looked like we were a little tight and they all talked about it a little. They looked a lot more comfortable and made some putts and got up early enough to keep the pressure on a very good team.”

Junior Bobby Wyatt led off for the Tide in the opening match with a 2-and-1 win over UNM’s Victor Perez. Wyatt closed out the match on the 17th hole.

Senior Scott Strohmeyer and junior Cory Whitsett both looked dominate in their wins. Strohmeyer played the third match and defeated Benjamin Bauch 4-and-3, ending the match with a par on the 15th hole. Whitsett ended his match with John Catlin with a 5-and-4 win that he closed out with a par on the 14th hole.

“My short game was on,” Strohmeyer said. “I chipped in once (on No. 1) and pitched in from 30-yards on 5 for eagle. Anytime you can hole out twice, that gets the momentum, it’s big.”

Strohmeyer acknowledged this tournament has been tough on him because he knows it’s the last of his career with Alabama.

“It’s sad in a way because it’s the last time I get to play with these guys and the last time they get to play with me,” Strohmeyer said. “I’m just trying to cherish every moment. Really, it’s kind of helped me free up and enjoy every moment.”

Sophomore Justin Thomas gave the Tide its fourth win, while junior Trey Mullinax was the only Tide play to fall Friday.
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