#14 Arkansas Looks to Retain SEC Match Play Title
FAYETTEVILLE – Last year, Arkansas won four matches over three days to claim the inaugural SEC Match Play title. However, year two of the event – set for Sept. 25-27 – will be a different format and played at a different course, albeit a place Razorbacks have had success in the past.
This year’s SEC Match Play (hosted by Jerry Pate) will be played Sunday through Tuesday in Vestavia Hills, Ala., at the par-70 Old Overton Club. The 2022 format will be similar to the Jackson T. Stephens Cup, featuring 54 holes of stroke play over the first two days and using those results for seeding on day three for match play. Specifically, all 14 SEC schools will compete in stroke play – 36 holes Sunday followed by 18 Monday – with match play coming on Tuesday. The top two finishers from stroke play will square off to determine the match play champion on day three, while the 12 other SEC teams will square off in East vs. West match play format.
Last year’s SEC Match Play was contested at Birmingham’s Shoal Creek and won by Arkansas thanks to wins over Mississippi State, Ole Miss, LSU and Vanderbilt. This year’s venue is the site of the previous Jerry Pate Intercollegiate – a fall event Alabama hosted for 35 years and an event that Arkansas participated in regularly since the 1993-94 season.
Julian Perico won the 2018 JPI title and Mason Overstreet claimed medalist honors in 2017. Also, some of the lowest rounds and scores in Razorback history have come at the Old Overton Club. Namely, Perico shot the second-lowest 18 hole score by an individual (a 64 in the 2018 opening round), shot a 36-hole, school-record (129 in 2018), and shot the 54-hole, school-record (197 in 2018). Old Overton has additionally been the site for four of the school’s top 30 single-round scores, shooting 269 in round two in 2017 (T-4th lowest), 274 in 2018 and 2019 (T-15th lowest) and 275 in 2015 (T-25th).
The 14-team field features 12 of the nation’s top 45 teams including defending champion and #14 Arkansas as well as 2021 SEC Match Play runner-up Vanderbilt, the top-ranked team in the nation. Other top 25 teams are #3 Georgia, #12 Tennessee, #13 Auburn, #16 Georgia, #17 Texas A&M, #21 LSU and #23 Ole Miss.
SEC Match Play hosted by Jerry Pate
Sept. 25-26 – 54 Holes of Stroke Play
Sept. 27 – 1 Round of Match Play
Host School: Alabama
Old Overton Club || Vestavia Hills, Ala.
7,204 yards || Par 70
#23 Ole Miss
#33 South Carolina
#17 Texas A&M
Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira (1)
Manuel Lozada (2)
Julian Perico (3)
Wil Gibson (4)
Enrique Dimayuga (5)