T he Alabama Crimson Tide’s latest National Championship is unique in that it’s their first in the sport of achievement: men’s golf.
The Tide’s defeat of Illinois over the weekend in what some termed as the “Gordon Gee Cup” (Big Ten vs. SEC) saw Bama add a crown in an area it had never enjoyed…proving these things can still be done.
You listening men’s basketball? Hear this baseball? How about you women’s hoops? (Nobody cares about swimming.)
Led by the fiery head golf coach Jay Seawell, Alabama ended its season with victories in the SEC Championships, the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional and the NCAA Championships.
Said Seawell after the victory, “We’re a national power.” The coach saw his team come painfully close to the crown last season as the runner-up to Texas, losing on the last hole.
The national title was actually Bama’s first in a men’s sport other than football…which was news to Seawell.
“That’s really cool,” he said. “Coach (Nick) Saban actually called me right after the tournament and gave me my congratulations. It was really special that he did that. He’s a friend of mine. … I look forward to getting a right and showing off my bling. He’s got four, so there you go. He’s still trumping me.”
There was a time a natty in golf wasn’t on the radar in Tuscaloosa. Then along came Jay Seawell who asked “why not?” Shouldn’t competing for championships be the end goal for every program in Tuscaloosa? Here’s looking at you Mitch Gaspard and Anthony Grant. Making a showing in the postseason isn’t enough. The Tide nation would like to see you get it done like Sarah Patterson, Patrick Murphy, Mic Potter, and yes, Nicholas Saban. And now of course, Jay Seawell.
On a side note, Alabama junior Bobby Wyatt entered the NCAA Championships ranked No. 3 in the nation. Junior Cory Whitsett was ranked No. 4 and sophomore Justin Thomas was ranked 8th. Whitsett and Thomas now head to Ohio to compete in a U.S. Open qualifier. Wyatt will compete in a qualifier in Memphis.