Florida's Tosti wins title in sudden-death playoff
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Florida's Alejandro Tosti needed two extra holes and a lengthy putt to fight off Vanderbilt's Patrick Martin and claim the 2017 Southeastern Conference medalist title on Saturday at Sea Island Golf Club.
"He's worked so hard and made some changes he needed to make, and for it to pay off with an SEC Championship is amazing," Florida head coach J.C. Deacon said of Tosti. "I'm really, really happy for him. Just an unbelievable win for him. He's got all the tools and he's starting to use his mind to his advantage. Really, really special for him to win."
Tosti, the 36-hole leader after Friday's two rounds, and Martin finished regulation at 10-under-par 200. Playing in the final group of the day, Martin closed with a 4-under 66 and Tosti signed for a 3-under 67.
On the second hole of the playoff, as Tosti surveyed a 27-foot putt, Martin punched out of a greenside bunker to within eight feet. Tosti struck his attempt firmly and pumped his fists as it found the bottom of the cup. Martin was unable to connect on his putt and extend the playoff, lifting Tosti to the title.
"That putt was my longest one of the day," Tosti said, smiling from ear to ear. "I played 20 holes today without a bogey, so that's really good. I feel really good about my mental effort. I hit a bad tee shot on 18, but I did not let it affect me."