Men's Golf
Consistent Goff Finishes Solo Second at SEC Championship
Consistent Goff Finishes Solo Second at SEC Championship

Consistent Goff Finishes Solo Second at SEC Championship

Final Results

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.

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.

“What a great job Alex did of leading this team at the SEC Championship this week,” Craig added. “The Seaside Course was a firm, fast and great test of golf. Alex handled the challenge beautifully and was solid all three rounds. I also thought Garrett played excellent golf, even though he did not score quite as well as he played. It was a very solid performance.”

The tournament was Goff’s team-best fourth top 10 and eighth top 20 of the season. He now has nine top 10 finishes and 20 in the top 20 for his career. Just this season alone, Goff has two solo second finishes, a tie for second and a tie for third.

Wood, a graduate student, put together another quality round Friday, carding two birdies and an eagle against three bogeys on his way to a 1-under 69 and a tie for 16th at 1-under for the week. A native of Mason, Ohio, Wood now has 15 rounds of par or better, including 11 under-par this season. His tie for 16th finish marked his fifth top 20 of the year and 21st of his career.

Graduate Dhaivat Pandya notched three birdies against five bogeys on his way to a 2-over 72 in the final round and a tie for 58th while junior Campbell Kremer carded a pair of birdies but a late triple-bogey at the par-5 seventh hole dropped him to a 6-over 76 Friday and a tie for 62nd.

Freshman Kevin Watts bounced rounded out the Wildcat lineup with a 5-over 75 in the final round for a solo 65th finish in his first trip to the SEC Championship.

The NCAA Division I Men’s Golf selection show is set for 1 p.m. May 3 on Golf Channel. A total of 81 teams and the top 45 individuals not on advancing teams will be selected for participation.

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