Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll. Murphy was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
Razorbacks out to defend SEC title
Mason Overstreet, of Arkansas, watches his tee shot on the 16th hole during an NCAA golf tournament on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
FAYETTEVILLE — The defending SEC champion Arkansas Razorbacks are not among the favorites to win the SEC men’s golf title this week at St. Simons Island, Ga.
Then again, the seventh-seeded Razorbacks weren’t favored in the match-play portion of the 2019 event when then-freshman Julian Perico helped power the team to wins over 2 seed Vanderbilt, 3 seed Texas A&M and 1 seed Auburn to claim the school’s second SEC championship.
Perico and the No. 22 Razorbacks will tee off on the Seaside Course, a par-70, 7,005-yard layout at Sea Island Golf Club today at 7:20 a.m. Central.
Perico, the school record holder with a 70.38 scoring average last season, will take a 70.75 average into the event. He’s won one event this season, the Vanderbilt Legends Collegiate versus an All-SEC field.
He’ll be joined by seniors Tyson Reeder and William Buhl, junior Segundo Oliva Pinto and freshman Manuel Lozada, with senior Mason Overstreet serving as the alternate.
Reeder had his best spring as a collegian, earning co-medalist honors at the Tiger Invitational and a third-place finish at the Old Waverly Collegiate in West Point, Miss.
Lozada is coming off his best outing of the year, a third-place showing at the Old Waverly Collegiate.
The field is loaded with heavyweights, with eight teams ranked in the Top 25, with No. 10 Georgia, No. 11 Texas A&M, No. 14 Auburn, No. 15 Vanderbilt, No. 17 Florida, No. 19 Tennessee and No. 23 LSU joining the Razorbacks.
South Carolina junior Ryan Hall, Georgia junior Davis Thompson, Vanderbilt sophomore William Moll and Missouri freshman Ross Steelman all rank in the top 20 in national scoring average, with Hall (69.67) and Thompson (69.81) having stroke averages of less than 70.
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