By NEMS Daily Journal
The SEC golf championships will tee off today, with the men at St. Simons Island, Ga., and the women at Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The men’s championship will be held at Sea Island Golf Club, where the event has been held six times since 2001.
Ole Miss junior Jonathan Randolph is the SEC’s top-ranked golfer with a 70.71 stroke average. He’s ranked No. 10 nationally by Golfstat.
The Rebels squad will look to improve on last season’s eighth-place finish. Randolph and teammate Joe David, a sophomore, finished in a tie for 21st last season.
Randolph has six top-five finishes in 10 tournaments this year, including three wins. The Rebels are fourth in the league in team stroke acerage (290.86).
There are six SEC teams in the latest Golfweek top 30, led by No. 8 Florida and No. 9 South Carolina.
Ole Miss is 42nd.
“I don’t remember another year where the SEC race has been so wide open,” said Ole Miss coach Ernest Ross. “There might be nine teams that have a legitimate shot at winning the title. I believe our team is one of those.”
The entire Mississippi State men’s lineup will be making its SEC championship debut, led by sophomore Lee Heaton (73.78).
The women’s championship tees off this morning at the NorthRiver Yacht Club.
Ole Miss earned its best finish since 1999 at the 2009 SECs, finishing seventh and earning an NCAA Regional appearance.
The Rebels are coming off a third-place finish at last weekend’s Rebel Intercollegiate. Freshman Haley Sanders finished in a tie for second.
Mississippi State’s women finished 20th in that event as junior Erika Thornton – playing on an injred knee, fought to a tie for 18th.
The SEC boasts seven teams in the Top 25, led by No. 4 Auburn and No. 6 Alabama.