ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — LSU golfers Smylie Kaufman, Ben Taylor and Curtis Thompson each broke par in Saturday’s second round at the Southeastern Conference Men’s Golf Championships to lead the 22nd-ranked Tigers into fourth place in the team race heading into Sunday’s final round at the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club.
Kaufman and Thompson each fired rounds of 2-under par 68 to lead the way, while Taylor added a 1-under par 69 as the Tigers posted a team score of 5-under par 275 on the day.
The Tigers also broke par for the tournament, following a 4-over par 284 in the opening round with the second-lowest round in the field in the second round at 5-under par 275 to end the day in sole possession of fourth place overall with a 36-hole team score of 1-under par 559.
No. 1-ranked Alabama is running away with its third straight title after firing a tournament-low 14-under par 266 on Saturday for a two-day score of 22-under par 538. The Crimson Tide will tee off Sunday with a 17-shot lead over No. 24-ranked South Carolina and No. 26-ranked Auburn in a tie for second place at 5-under par 555.
Georgia trails LSU by two shots in fifth place with a two-day total of 1-over par 561.
After opening with a team-leading 3-under 67 n Friday, Kaufman followed with a 2-under 68 to finish the day alone in fifth place with a 36-hole score of 5-under 135.
Alabama All-American Bobby Wyatt is in position to take home the individual title after firing a school-record score of 9-under par 61 on Saturday for a two-day total of 14-under par 126 on the weekend. Wyatt holds an eight-stroke advantage over Echavarria, Murphy and Shelton for the top spot on the leaderboard.
LSU is paired with Arkansas and Georgia in Sunday’s final round and will tee off as part of the second wave off of the first tee beginning at 7:20 a.m.
SEC MEN’S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS
Team scores (Par 560): 1. Alabama 272-266 – 538 -22; T2. Auburn 274-281 – 555 -5; T2. South Carolina 277-278 – 555 -5; 4. LSU 284-275 – 559 -1; 5. Georgia 277-284 – 561 +1; 6. Arkansas 280-287 – 567 +7; T7. Mississippi State 287-281 – 568 +8; T7. Missouri 288-280 – 568 +8; 9. Kentucky 287-284 – 571 +11; 10. Florida 292-281 – 573 +13; 11. Texas A&M 288-286 – 574 +14; 12. Vanderbilt 288-288 – 576 +16; 13. Tennessee 289-290 – 579 +19; 14. Ole Miss 292-293 – 585 +25.
Top 10 individuals (Par 140): 1. Bobby Wyatt, Alabama, 65-61 – 126 -14; T2. Will Murphy, South Carolina, 66-68 – 134 -6; T2. Nicolas Echavarria, Arkansas, 66-68 – 134 -6; T2. Robby Shelton, Alabama, 67-67 – 134 -6; 5. Smylie Kaufman, LSU, 67-68 – 135 -5; 6. Niclas Carlsson, Auburn, 67-69 – 136 -4; 7. Matthew NeSmith, South Carolina, 65-72 – 137 -3; T8. Emilio Cuartero, Missouri, 71-68 – 139 -1; T8. Trey Mullinax, Alabama, 72-67 – 139 -1; T8. Greg Yates, Texas A&M, 72-67 – 139 -1; T8. Cory Whitsett, Alabama, 68-71 – 139 -1; T8. Will Long, Auburn, 69-70 – 139 -1; T8. Charlie Ewing, Vanderbilt, 71-68 – 139 -1; T8. Michael Cromie, Georgia, 68-71 – 139 -1.
LSU scores: T5. Smylie Kaufman, 67-68 — 135 -5. T21. Ben Taylor, 72-69 — 141 +1. T21. Curtis Thompson, 73-68 — 141 +1. T24. Stewart Jolly, 72-70 — 142 +2. T60. Zach Wright, 76-74 — 150 +10
Track and field
BROWN, STOWERS MAKE HISTORY WITH EVENT WINS AT PENN RELAYS: In Philadelphia, Rodney Brown smashed LSU’s 25-year-old school record in winning the men’s discus championship while also setting a new meet record during Saturday’s finale at the 120th Penn Relay Carnival at Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania.
Brown was named the College Men’s Athlete of the Meet for Individual Events after unleashing a school-record and meet-record throw of 210 feet, 9 inches on his opening throw of the competition to emerge as the NCAA’s No. 2-ranked discus thrower this season.
Brown became just the second LSU Tiger in Penn Relays history to win the men’s championship discus throw, taking the title by more than 11 feet over Penn’s Sam Mattis with a runner-up throw of 199-8. Former Tiger All-America Alex Forst won back-to-back Penn Relays titles in the discus during the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
Brown broke LSU’s 25-year-old school record of 209-1 set by NCAA champion John Nichols in 1989 and the Penn Relays’ 18-year-old meet record of 210-0 set by Wake Forest’s Andy Bloom in 1996.
Brown is the 10th LSU athlete in program history to earn Athlete of the Meet honors at the Penn Relays. The last LSU athlete to do so was former national champion hammer thrower Walter Henning in 2010.
Lady Tiger senior Jasmin Stowers also made history with a victory in the women’s college 100-meter hurdles, becoming the first female hurdler in meet history to win the event three times in a career. She also won back-to-back sprint hurdle titles in 2011 and 2012.
Stowers, the reigning SEC Women’s Runner of the Week, turned in a time of 12.99 run into a headwind of -0.3 meters per second to break 13 seconds for the fourth time in her past five races in the 100 hurdles this season.
LSU kicked off the afternoon with a second-place finish in the 4x100-meter relay final as their squad Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, Aaron Ernest, Tremayne Acy and Shermund Allsop teamed to run a seasonal-best time of 38.83 to finish runner-up to the winning performance of 38.71 by Jamaica’s University Tech.
Ernest, Acy and Allsop were joined by Darrell Bush in the 4x200-meter relay and ran the seventh-fastest time in school history (1 minute, 21.47 seconds) to take third in the final, trailing UTech (1:20.07) and Texas A&M (1:20.29) across the finish line.
In the women’s 4x400-meter relay final, LSU turned in a seasonal-best time of 3:35.59, while Joshua Thompson finished sixth in the 110-meter hurdles final in 14.03 (+0.8).
Jeremy Tuttle captured a fifth-place finish in the championship division of the men’s hammer throw with a top throw of the day at 208-10 after earning a seventh-place finish in the javelin throw with a mark of 210-0.
Andreas Duplantis cleared 16-6 ¾ for a sixth-place finish in the championship pole vault, while sophomore Fitzroy Dunkley added a sixth-place finish in the championship triple jump with a mark of 49-2 ¼.
LSU wraps up the regular season with the LSU Invitational Saturday at Bernie Moore Track Stadium.