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.
UA men’s golf advances to SEC semifinals
A Razorback head cover sits in a golf bag at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers during practice rounds for the Walmart NWA Arkansas Championship.
University of Arkansas golfer Manuel Lozada out-dueled fellow freshman Drew Doyle 3 & 1 to close out the Razorbacks’ 3-2 match-play victory over LSU on Saturday morning at the SEC men’s golf championships at St. Simons Island, Ga.
SEC medalist Segundo Oliva Pinto, an Arkansas junior, followed his stroke play championship with a 4 & 2 win over Nicholas Arcement in the fourth position to bring the 5 seed Razorbacks to the brink of victory at Sea Island Golf Club. Pinto trailed only once, with a bogey on the second hole, and immediately got back to even with a birdie on the par 3 12th.
Starting on the back nine, Pinto built his lead to as many as four holes before the turn and was not threatened down the stretch.
Senior William Buhl, playing in the leadoff spot, took out LSU junior Michael Sanders 2 & 1 to give Arkansas its first point. Buhl also trailed for a couple of holes early, but forged a tie with a birdie on the 13th. Buhl went 1 up with a birdie on No. 1 and again with a bogey on No. 5, and grew his lead to two holes on the 7th before halving the 8th for the win.
LSU won the second and third matches. Connor Gaunt, a native of Cabot and transfer from Arkansas Tech, outlasted Arkansas senior Tyson Reeder 2 & 1. LSU junior Garrett Barber dealt Julian Perico, the hero of the Razorbacks’ 2019 SEC title, his first match play loss at SECs with a 2 & 1 win in the fourth match. Gaunt and Barber never trailed in their matches, nor did Lozada, whose par on No. 10 put him ahead early, followed by wins on Nos. 12 and 14 to go 3 up.
Doyle cut his deficit to one on three occasions, but Lozada birdied the 8th to close out the match.
Arkansas advanced to face 8 seed Texas A&M, a 3-2 winner over 1 seed Georgia. The SEC Network-Plus will stream the semifinal matches starting at 3 p.m.
In the other semifinal, 2 seed Alabama, which downed 7 seed South Carolina 3-2, will take on 6 seed Vanderbilt.
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