Posted: Apr 21, 2013 8:15 PM
COLUMBIA -- Missouri Golf tied for seventh place at the 2013 Southeastern Conference Men's Golf Championship on Sunday, riding strong final-round efforts from Hunter Kraus and Ryan Zech, who finished with 1-over-par 71s, to push the Tigers up the leaderboard in St. Simons Island, Georgia.
The 2013 SEC Championship was played on the Par 70, 6,991-yard Seaside Course at the Sea Island Golf Club. Missouri opened the day in ninth, but shot a final round 293 to tie with No. 36 Vanderbilt and best nationally-ranked foes No. 13 Georgia, No. 9 Florida, No. 15 LSU, No. 50 Kentucky and No. 23 Tennessee.
Kraus led Missouri throughout the weekend and finished 1-over-par on Sunday to place 17th. A native of Memphis, Tenn., the junior has played well throughout the spring and fired rounds of 71-74-71 to move up the leaderboard and earn his sixth Top 20 finish of the year. Kraus was coming off a second-place finish at the Mizzou Intercollegiate (April 8-9).
Zech equaled Kraus' 1-over-par 71 to move into 23rd. Just a sophomore, the Kearney, Mo., product was steady all weekend shooting 75-73-71 and has now enjoyed Top 25 finishes in each of his conference championship appearances after finishing 24th last year at the Big 12 Championship.
Freshman Jacob Fair moved into 31st with a final-round 73. Fair tied with fellow Tiger Emilio Cuartero, who shot 78. Another positive sign for the future of Mizzou Golf is the fact that Missouri's top four scorers this weekend, Kraus, Zech, Cuartero and Fair will all return next season for Head Coach Mark Leroux's program, which is currently ranked No. 32 nationally.
Senior Jace Long rounded out the Tiger performers finishing 54th.
No. 2 Alabama (+8) won the team title by two shots over South Carolina (+10). The Crimson Tide made up five shots on the Gamecocks on Sunday. No. 19 Auburn (+20) finished third.
Arkansas' Sebastian Cappelen (-8) fired a final round 66 to earn the individual crown. Cappelen opened the day in second, but won by three shots over South Carolina's Caleb Sturgeon (-5).
Missouri Golf will now await its postseason fate. NCAA Regional play begins on May 16 and the NCAA selection announcement will be made on May 6.