ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Georgia – Kentucky’s Alex Goff finished off another tremendous individual tournament in an outstanding senior season, carding a 3-under-par 67 to finish in solo second at the Southeastern Conference Championship Friday at the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Georgia.
In arguably the most difficult field of any tournament in the country this season, the Kings Mountain, North Carolina, native recorded three sub-70 rounds to place second. Tennessee’s Caleb Surratt won the event with a 14-under 196 tournament total with Texas A&M’s Phichaksn Maichon finishing third at 7-under-par. Goff’s 202 54-hole total tied for the eighth-best in SEC Championship history and was only bested by Surratt’s 196, which tied for the second-best.
“This means a lot to me,” Goff said. “When you think about college golf, the SEC is the first conference that comes to mind. You play to win an SEC Championship and I’m really proud to represent Kentucky the way I did this week. I didn’t come out on top but it’s really encouraging to know that I was close in such a competitive field.”
The solo second marks one of the best SEC Championship finishes in program history. Johnny Owens won the 1950 SEC Championship with a 72-hole total of 291 in Athens, Georgia. But, in recent history, Tyler “Chip” McDaniel’s second-place finish with a 1-under 54-hole total of 209 in 2016, J.B. Holmes’ third-place 5-over 215 in 2005 and David Snyder’s fifth-place standing after a 5-under 205 in 2014 mark the Cats’ other best finishes at the Seaside Course, which has hosted the event since 2001.
👏👏Congrats, AG! Another sub-70 round for Alex Goff, who finishes second at the SEC Championship with an 8-under 202 54-hole total.
The second-place finish is only bested in program history by John Owens’ win in the 1950 SEC Championship.#GoBigBlue pic.twitter.com/7UDBTs5g3S
— Kentucky Men’s Golf (@UKmensgolf) April 21, 2023
As a team, Kentucky finished 13th at 14-over-par. The Cats carded a final-round 3-over 283 Friday after a 1-over 281 Thursday, but found it too difficult to advance to match play after a 10-over 290 in the opening round Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, our first round Wednesday just killed us this week,” UK head coach Brian Craig said. “We played very competitive golf over the last 36 holes but could not overcome our start. When you are competing in the best conference in men’s Division I golf, you have to hang in there and score better than we did when you are having an off day. However, I am very proud of the bounce-back effort over the last two rounds. We never stopped competing or believing until the 54 holes were completed.”
After posting an opening-round 3-under 67 Wednesday, Goff followed that up with a 2-under 68 Thursday and a second 3-under 67 Friday for a 54-hole total of an 8-under 202. Much like his second round Thursday, Goff saved the best for last. After playing even-par golf through the first 14 holes, Goff birdied the sixth, seventh and eighth holes – his 15th, 16th and 17th on the day – before making par on the ninth for the 3-under 67.
The round marked Goff’s team-high 22nd round of par or better and 19th round under-par this season. He tied for second in the field in par 4-scoring at 6-under and tied for sixth, along with teammate Garrett Wood, in par-5 scoring at 3-under. Goff’s 15 birdies were the second-most in the field.