April 23, 2017
Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Despite sophomore Luis Gagne putting the Tigers on the board with a 3-and-2 victory over Steven Setterstrom, the third-ranked and No. 3-seeded LSU Men’s Golf team fell to No. 6 seed Alabama, 3.5-1.5, in its match play quarterfinal Sunday to close out the 2017 SEC Men’s Golf Championships.
It went down to the wire with two matches going to extra holes and two others being decided in 18 holes as the Crimson Tide advanced to play No. 2 seed Texas A&M in the semifinal round.
Gagne clinched his match with a birdie at the par-five seventh holes to give the Tigers their first point of the day. Teeing off from the back nine, Gagne went 1-down in the match with a bogey at the par-three 12th hole before moving back to all square with a birdie at the par-four 14th. He took the lead with a birdie at the par-four 16th and never looked back en route to a 3-and-2 victory.
The sophomore from Orlando, Florida, twice moved to 2-up while playing his second nine with birdies at the par-four second and par-four fifth holes before closing out the match with a birdie at the seventh.
Senior Brandon Pierce halved his match with Crimson Tide sophomore Davis Riley as the two remained all square after 18 holes. Pierce took a 1-up lead at No. 13 and held that advantage for the next nine holes, before Riley made squared the match with a birdie at No. 5. Riley took a brief 1-up lead with a second-straight birdie at No. 6 before Pierce bounced back with a birdie 4 at the par-five seventh.
Senior Eric Ricard and freshman Philip Barbaree both held 1-up leads for the Tigers while playing their second nine holes before ultimately falling to their Alabama rivals. Ricard was just one hole from victory with a 1-up lead over Josh Sedeno after 17 holes before Sedeno forced sudden death with a par at the ninth and won, 1-up, with a birdie on their 21st hole. Barbaree led 1-up through 10 holes in his match against Jonathan Hardee before falling by one hole to close out his first SEC Championships.
Lee Hodges also picked up a point for Alabama with a 1-up win over LSU sophomore Sam Burns as their match went to 20 holes after playing all square. After taking an early lead with a birdie on his very first hole on the day at the par-four 10th, Burns went 3-down after 11 holes in the match to face an uphill climb down the stretch. The Ben Hogan Award Semifinalist battled back from 3-down with four holes to play to square the match and force extra holes with a par at the sixth, birdie at the seventh and par at the ninth.
With their appearance at the 2017 SEC Men’s Golf Championships now in the books, the Tigers will look ahead to regional play in the coming weeks as they host the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional running from May 15-17 at the University Club. The top-five teams at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional will qualify for the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships scheduled for May 26-31.