BATON ROUGE, La. --- It looked as if UAB was going to make a run for the fifth and final National spot on the final day of the Baton Rouge Regional, cutting the deficit to as few as eight shots but the Blazers struggled on the back-nine en route to a ninth place finish.
Thomas Sutton jumped up the leaderboard in round three with a three-under par round of 69. He was the only UAB golfer to shoot in the 60's in the tournament. Sutton played his front nine bogey-free and made birdies on the par-4 12th hole and the par-5 17th. He moved to three-under par with a birdie on the par-4 1st hole then made eight straight pars to finish the round.
"I played better, finally had a good round," said Sutton. "I didn't make a bogey and made three birdies, it was just the solid round that I was waiting for all week."
Coming off a team-best 71 (-1) in round two, Hunter Hawkins continued his good play in to round three. Hawkins made eight pars on his opening nine and made the turn at one-over par. He got his score back to even with a birdie on the par-4 fourth hole but gave one back with on bogey on the next hole.
Wilson McDonald began the day well with a birdie on the first. After a bogey on the par-4 12th hole, McDonald got his score back to one-under with a birdie on the 15th. Bogeys on two of his final three holes on his front nine sent him out with a one-over par 37. McDonald played the first six holes of the front nine at even par, carding a birdie and a bogey. He finished the round at three-over par, 75.
Sam Love had an up and down opening nine holes, making two birdies, four bogeys, and a triple to go out in 41. Love turned things around a little on the front nine making two bogeys and seven pars to finish with a 79 (+7).
Paul Dunne also got off to a good start, making a birdie on the 10th and then three straight pars before a bogey on the 14th brought him back to even. He finished is front nine with a bogey to go out in 37. Dunne struggled on the front nine, making five bogeys and two doubles en route to a third round score of 82 (+10).
"We had two guys play well and three who didn't play so well, which has kind of been the story of the week this week," said head coach Alan Kaufman. "They worked as hard as they could. You have to have some breaks and have to make some putts and we didn't get too many of those this week. We enjoyed the experience, getting to regionals is your first goal every year and then nationals are the ultimate goal. We didn't make that one but hopefully next year this team will be playing in Nationals."
Alabama took home the top spot in the Regional with a 54-hole total of 868. The Tide erased an eight-stroke deficit to begin the round with a six-under par round of 286 in round three. Florida finished in second followed by LSU, Tennessee and Coastal Carolina. The top five advanced to the Nationals in Atlanta that will be played later this month. South Alabama's Tyler Klava will advance to Nationals as an individual.