2018 SEC Men's Golf Championship
Auburn Tigers - 2018 SEC Team Champion
Andy Zhang (Florida) - 2018 SEC Individual Champion
Sea Island Course - St. Simons Island, GA April 25-29, 2018
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - Freshman Wells Padgett drained a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to lift Auburn to the team title Sunday in the 2018 Southeastern Conference Men's Golf Championship.
The Tigers defeated Alabama 3-2 to claim the fourth championship in the program's history. Auburn's last title came in 2002.
Padgett and Alabama's Jonathan Hardee were all square heading into the final hole after Hardee nearly made an ace on the par-3 17th. Padgett's third shot on 18 landed on the green, while Hardee was forced to chip onto the green. Padgett quickly stood over the 15-footer and drained it, igniting an Auburn celebration.
"That was the biggest putt I've ever made in my life," Padgett said. "It was great being able to do it for my team. To do it as an individual in a tournament is cool, but doing it for your team is the greatest feeling. ... Walking down the fairway, someone asked me if we were going to need a playoff hole. I looked him right in the eye and said, 'There's not going to be a playoff. I'm making birdie.' I love the competition of match play. I thrive on it. I had a good read on it and I could tell after about three or four feet that it was going in."
"He was our anchor in match play all week," Auburn coach Nick Clinard said. "We believed in him and he believed in us. He got it done. I asked him if he wanted to look at it from behind the hole and he said, 'No Coach, I've got it.' It was right in the middle. It was fun to watch."
Auburn's first point came courtesy of Trace Crowe as he posted a 2&1 victory over Davis Riley. Brandon Mancheno then added a 2&1 decision against Wilson Furr.
Alabama's wins came from Davis Shore (who defeated Ryan Knop 6&5) and Lee Hodges (who picked up a 2&1 decision over Jovan Rebula).
Teams will learn their NCAA Regional assignments on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The announcement will be made on The Golf Channel. The Regionals will take place May 14-16 in Raleigh, N.C.; Bryan, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Kissimmee, Fla.; Norman, Okla.; and Stockton, Calif.
"This definitely helps with our confidence," Clinard said. "We're going to enjoy this for a couple of days and get back to work. We need to get better. We've got a tough task ahead of us."