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LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s golf team opens Southeastern Conference Championship play Wednesday at the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Georgia. The tournament will feature 54 holes of stroke play with an individual tournament medalist crowned Friday. The top eight teams from stroke play move on to match play, with the quarterfinal and semifinal matchups set for Saturday and the championship slated for Sunday.

The UK lineup will consist of Alex Goff, Garrett Wood, Campbell Kremer, Dhaivat Pandya and Kevin Watts with Andrew Clark serving as the Wildcats’ alternate.

Three Cats have prior SEC Championship experience at the Seaside Course. Goff has participated twice, finishing in a tie for 29th in the 2020-21 season and a tie for 18th a season ago. Kremer and Wood each teed it up last season but both Wood and Pandya also have conference championship experience in other conferences. Wood tied for eighth as a freshman at the BIG EAST Championship in 2018 and won the event in its return to Callawassie Island Golf Club a season later while he was at Xavier. Pandya, competing for Maryland, played in the Big Ten Championship twice, tying for third in the 2022 event at The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort.


Tournament History: Kentucky made its first appearance in the match-play portion of the event in 2019 and won the 2005 SEC Championship under head coach Brian Craig. The Cats finished 13th a season ago, with Alex Goff tying for 18th at even-par.

The Course: The Seaside Course, reconfigured by Tom Fazio and reopened in 1999, is a blend of Colt & Allison’s original nine-hole Seaside and Joe Lee’s Marshside nine into one contemporary 18-hole course. The layout features tidal creeks, saltmarshes, dunes and St. Simons Sound and plays fast and firm like a traditional Scottish links course. The course will play as a par-70 at 7,005 yards.

The Field: Along with the Wildcats, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt will be participating. Eight SEC teams are ranked in the latest Golfstat Top 25 poll. No. 1 Vanderbilt leads the way, followed by No. 9 Auburn, No. 10 Florida, No. 14 Tennessee, No. 15 Texas A&M, No. 17 Alabama, No. 18 Mississippi State and No. 20 Ole Miss.

Last Time Out: Kentucky finished seventh at the Lewis Chitengwa Memorial April 10-11 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Garrett Wood led the way in 12th place with a 5-under-par 208 54-hole total while Alex Goff tied for 26th at even-par.

The Numbers So Far: At the conclusion of regular-season play, paces the Wildcats with a 70.96 scoring average and seven top 20 finishes. Garrett Wood follows with a 72.44 scoring average, followed by Campbell Kremer at 73.56. Goff and Wood are tied for the team lead with three top 19 finishes. Dhaivat Pandya has a pair of top 20 finishes while Kremer and Kevin Watts have one apiece.

Goff’s 7-under-par 65 in the second round of the Hootie at Bulls Bay marks the Cats’ best round of the year. Goff, Kremer, Pandya and Watts each have a 66 to their ledger this season.

Goff Putting Together Phenomenal 2022-23 Campaign: Not only is Alex Goff leading the Wildcats in several statistical categories, many of his numbers rank favorably among Kentucky golfers dating back to the 1993-94 season. Consider:

– Through his first 27 rounds of the season, Goff’s 70.96 scoring average and -0.59 strokes versus par are the best among Wildcats in that era, besting J.B. Holmes’ 71.29 average, -0.13 strokes against par in his 2003-04 All-America campaign.
– Goff’s 82.6% finish percentage ranks third behind Holmes’ 93.2% finish percentage in 2003-04 and 83.5 finish percentage in 2001-02.
– Goff’s season par-4 scoring average is best in program history at 4.0222, narrowly ahead of Holmes’ 4.0234 in 2003-04.
– His 3.0601 par-3 average and 4.7059 par-5 average each rank fifth.
– Goff’s 7-under 65 in the second round of the Hootie at Bulls Bay this year is tied for the fourth-lowest round for a Wildcat since 1993-94. Four different players, including Goff at the Vanderbilt Legends Collegiate in 2021-22, have carded a 64. The 7-under-par round is one of a dozen by Wildcats since 1993-94, marking the best score versus par.
– For his career, Goff’s 71.85 scoring average through 99 rounds, ranks best of any Wildcat, ahead of Chip McDaniel’s 72.02 average in 137 rounds from 2015-18.

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 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):
Alex Goff – 52 (19)
Garrett Wood – 52 (13)
Dhaivat Pandya – 28 (8)
Campbell Kremer – 21 (7)
Cooper Parks – 9 (1)
Kevin Watts – 7 (7)
Andrew Clark – 6 (6)
Jackson LaLonde – 5 (3)

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