LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s golf team hits the road for SEC Match Play Sunday through Tuesday at Old Overton Club in Vestavia Hills, Alabama. The event marks the first year the tournament transitions from the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate, which was held for the last 35 seasons.
All 14 SEC schools will compete in 54 holes of stroke play, including 36 Sunday and 18 Monday, with match play taking place Tuesday on the par-70, 7,204-yard course. The top two team finishers from stroke play will square off in the final groupings of the day, while the other 12 teams will participate in East vs. West Match Play format.
The Wildcats will utilize a starting lineup of Alex Goff, Dhaivat Pandya, Garrett Wood, Campbell Kremer and Kevin Watts.
“The SEC Fall Match Play is an elite amateur and collegiate event,” UK head coach Brian Craig said. “This year’s format will test both stroke and match play. The bottom line is this is a great opportunity for our team. Simply put, we need to bring it this week.”
SEC Match Play marks the third of four fall tournaments for the Wildcats. UK will conclude its fall schedule at the Hamptons Intercollegiate Oct. 3-4 in East Hampton, New York.
Tournament History: This year marks the first year of SEC Match Play. Kentucky participated in the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate a year ago, placing 14th.
The Course: Old Overton Club, which opened in 1993, was designed by Tom Fazio and Jerry Pate and underwent a series of renovations in 2020. The par-70, 7,204-yard track is nestled in the wooded hills south of Birmingham.
The Field: All 14 SEC teams will participate in the event. Among the field of Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt, 12 are ranked in the Bushnell/Golfweek Coaches Poll.
Last Time Out: The Cats finished ninth at the Bearcat Invitational last Sunday and Monday at Coldstream Country Club in Cincinnati. Alex Goff and Dhaivat Pandya completed the tournament in a tie for 14th at even-par.
For the tournament, Kentucky tied for second in the field with 48 birdies, while Goff tied for second individually with 14. Pandya tied for fourth in the field in par-4 scoring at 1-under-par.
The Numbers So Far: Goff and Pandya lead the Wildcats with a 71.67 scoring average, followed by Garrett Wood at 72.50. Goff possesses two of the Wildcats’ five rounds in the 60’s, with Wood’s 5-under-par 67 in the second round of the Island Resort Invitational marking UK’s low round of the season.
Goff and Pandya pace Kentucky with four rounds of even-par or better, while Wood has had all six of his rounds count toward the team tally.
Cats Return Seven: The Wildcats return seven players from the 2021-22 roster. Combined, the returners earned four top-10 finishes, 11 top-20 finishes and three of UK’s five starters from its Southeastern Championship and NCAA Regional squad will return.
Wood, Goff, Kremer Highlight Returners: Wood, UK’s leader in stroke average a year ago, highlights the returning core. He charted a 71.55 average and amassed five top-20 finishes. Goff posted a 71.97 average with four top-20 finishes, while Kremer had a pair of top-20 finishes and totaled a 72.89 stroke average.
Career Par-or-Better Rounds (in 2022-23):
Garrett Wood – 41 (2)
Alex Goff – 38 (4)
Dhaivat Pandya – 24 (4)
Campbell Kremer – 15 (1)
Cooper Parks – 9 (1)
Andrew Clark – 3 (3)
Jackson LaLonde – 3 (1)