VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. – The No. 6 Alabama men's golf team stands in third place after the first day of the 25th annual Jerry Pate Invitational at the 7,204, Par-70 Old Overton Club on Monday.
The Crimson Tide shot a 36-hole score of 1-under par 559 (281 – 278) and currently sits behind No. 1 Florida who leads the tournament after opening with a 6-under par 554 (278 – 276) and No. 23 Auburn who is in second place at 4-under par 556 (275 – 281).
"The golf course is more difficult than in years past," UA head coach Jay Seawell said. "The greens are perfect, but there were some tough pins. The guys did a good job of showing some maturity, making some birdies and fighting back."
UA freshman Bobby Wyatt fired an opening round 64, tied for low round of the day with Auburn's Niclas Carlsson, and followed that up with a 1-under par 69 in round two. Wyatt currently sits in second place at 7-under par behind Carlsson who leads the tournament after opening with a 36-hole score of 8-under par 132.
"The back nine was really good," Wyatt said of his back nine 31. "I got my swing in a groove and got the ball close enough to sink some birdie putts."
Crimson Tide junior Bud Cauley bounced back from an opening round of 74 with a 66 in his second 18 of the day, good enough for second-lowest score of the afternoon behind Florida's Tyler McCumber who shot 65. Cauley jumped 24 spots up the leaderboard with his stellar second round.
"I stepped on the third tee and Coach Seawell told me Florida had torn the front-nine apart and it would be nice if we could do the same," Cauley said. "So that's what I tried to do – give myself some birdie opportunities and see if I could make some putts.
Wyatt's first-round 64 featured a total of nine birdies while Cauley's second-round 66 featured five birdies on his final nine of the day, six in all. Wyatt leads all players with 13 birdies over the first two rounds.
"Bobby really carried us in the morning," Seawell said. "To shoot 64 on this golf course, he basically saved us and kept us in the tournament."
Alabama freshman Cory Whitsett and junior Hunter Hamrick are both tied for 16th place after opening with a 36-hole total of 143, with each shooting an opening 73 followed up by a 70 in the afternoon.
Florida's McCumber sits in third place behind Carlsson and Wyatt at 5-under par while Bank Vongvanij and Phillip Choi, both of Florida, sit in fourth-place and fifth-place at 3-under par and 2-under par respectively.
"I thought we played pretty well," Florida head coach Buddy Alexander said. "It was a long interesting day. We played pretty solidly, the golf course wasn't easy today – thank goodness the wind didn't come out – but we're in the hunt, that's all you need for the last day."
The final round will conclude tomorrow starting at 8 a.m. Live stats and updates will be available at golfstat.com.