Razorbacks seeking consistency

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Friday, April 21, 2017
Arkansas coach Brad McMakin, left, talks with Charles Kim during the second round of the NCAA Championships on Saturday, May 28, 2016, at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.
Photo by Arkansas Athletic Communications
Arkansas coach Brad McMakin, left, talks with Charles Kim during the second round of the NCAA Championships on Saturday, May 28, 2016, at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, made a run to the 2009 NCAA men's golf finals in the first year of the match-play format, and Coach Brad McMakin is hoping the Razorbacks can equal that performance this weekend.

For the first time, the SEC will combine stroke and match play to determine its champion. Three rounds of stroke play are scheduled today and Saturday and the final eight teams will turn to match play Sunday and Monday at the Sea Island Golf Club at St. Simon Island, Ga.

At a glance

SEC men’s Golf Championships

When Today-Monday

Where Sea Island Golf Club, St. Simon Island, Ga.

Course Par 70, 6,898 yards

Arkansas Lineup (stroke average) Alvaro Ortiz (71.6), Luis Garza (71.8), Dylan Naidoo (73.4), Mason Overstreet (73.7), Charles Kim (73.4)

Team rankings (Golfweek top 25) No. 3 Vanderbilt, No. 4 LSU, No. 6 Florida, No. 17 Texas A&M, No. 20 Auburn, No. 21 Ole Miss, No. 25 Georgia

Noteworthy Arkansas is the only team without a golfer ranked in the top 30 of the SEC rankings. Ortiz is No. 33 with his 71.6 stroke average. … Eight SEC teams won at least two tournaments this season, led by Florida (5), LSU (5), Auburn (4) and Ole Miss (4). Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Vanderbilt won twice each. Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi State and Texas A&M are the only SEC schools without a tournament victory this season. … The top five individuals in the SEC are Ole Miss’ Braden Thornberry (69.75 average), LSU’s Sam Burns (69.76), Vandy’s Matthias Schwab (69.79), Vandy’s Patrick Martin (70.2) and Georgia’s Greyson Sigg (70.42).

— Tom Murphy

"I think it's going to be fun," McMakin said. "All the coaches are looking forward to it, trying to get the guys a little prep for the NCAAs at our conference championship."

The Razorbacks peaked in mid-February with a victory at the SunTrust Gator Invitational, but McMakin thinks last week's second-place showing at LSU's Tiger Classic has his team pointed up.

"When we won the Gator Invitational, we kind of turned the corner, but we've had one bad round in the big tournaments," McMakin said. "Having this young of a team, I'm really happy where we are."

The Razorbacks will go with a lineup of junior Alvaro Ortiz, freshman Luis Garza, freshman Dylan Naidoo, freshman Mason Overstreet and sophomore Charles Kim at SECs.

McMakin thinks Garza, whose 11 low rounds are tied with Ortiz, the medalist at the Gator Invitational, for the team lead, has a good shot at winning SEC freshman of the year honors.

"Luis Garza has just played incredible for a freshman," McMakin said.

"We're having a lot of great individual rounds with these young guys, we just haven't put a full tournament together. If we can brother-in-law it and not have two bad rounds the same day, we'll be very competitive."

Sports on 04/21/2017

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