Razorbacks out at SECs, qualify for NCAAs

A Razorback head cover sits in a golf bag at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers during practice rounds for the Walmart NWA Arkansas Championship.

There was good news and bad news for the University of Arkansas men’s golf team after the final round of stroke play at the SEC Championships on Friday at St. Simons Island, Ga.

On the latter front, the Razorbacks finished 10th with a 3-over round of 283 at the 7,005-yard Seaside Island Golf Club and failed to qualify for the eight-team match play, which starts this morning on the Seaside Course.

The good news: The Razorbacks wound up with a 60-59-2 record for the season, right above the .500 mark, which makes them eligible to compete at the NCAA Championships starting on May 15 at six regional sites.

No. 13 Tennessee made the day’s biggest move, firing an 8-under round fueled by medalist Caleb Surratt’s bogey-free 64 to surge past No. 15 Texas A&M by a stroke to earn the No. 1 seed.

The Volunteers were at 14 under through three rounds, followed by the Aggies (13 under), No. 9 Florida (9 under), then No. 1 Vanderbilt and No. 17 Alabama at 8 under.

Tennessee will match up with No. 18 Mississippi State (1 over) in the first round of match play. Texas A&M will face Missouri (even-par), while the Gators take on No. 21 Ole Miss (1 under); and Alabama faces Vanderbilt.

Surratt pulled away from Kentucky’s Alex Goff (8 under) for a six-stroke win to take medalist honors. Texas A&M’s Phichaksn Maichon was a shot behind Goff, followed by Alabama’s Canon Claycomb (6 under) and Vandy’s Gordon Sargent (5 under).

Arkansas senior Julian Perico led the Hogs with a round of 4-under 66 that pushed him to 4 under for the tournament, good for a tie for sixth place. Fellow senior Segundo Oliva Pinto had three birdies in his final six holes to card a 71 and an even par finish, tied for 19th.

Senior Wil Gibson, who matched Pinto’s 69 in Thursday’s second round, had a 3-over 73 on the final day and also shot even par for the 54 holes. Senior Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira also shot 3 over Friday and wound up at 7 over for the tournament. Redshirt sophomore Manuel Lozada had a non-scoring 74 on Friday and was 9 over in total.

The NCAA regionals will be hosted by Auburn, Clemson, Michigan State, Oklahoma, San Jose State and UNLV.