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Spring college golf preview: SEC men

Getty Images previews the 2019 spring season in men's college golf, from teams and players to watch to picks to win. Here we dive into the SEC:


Championship info: April 24-28, Sea Island Golf Club (Seaside), St. Simons Island, Ga.

Recent champions: Auburn (2018), Vanderbilt (2017), Georgia (2016), LSU (2015), Alabama (2014)

Team rankings: Alabama (4), Vanderbilt (5), Arkansas (13), Auburn (16), Texas A&M (18), LSU 19), Tennessee (20), Georgia (22), South Carolina (34), Florida (46), Ole Miss (48), Mississippi State (49), Missouri (66), Kentucky (99)

Midseason All-Conference Team: Trent Phillips, Fr., Georgia (7); Beau Briggs, Sr., Ole Miss (11); Peng Pichaikool, Jr., Mississippi State (15); Will Gordon, Sr., Vanderbilt (25); Brandon Mancheno, Soph., Auburn (26)

What to watch: While Alabama finished the fall as the SEC’s top-ranked team, the Crimson Tide suffered a huge blow when senior Davis Riley announced he was turning pro this winter. The Tide, national runners-up last spring, still boast plenty of talent, though, including sophomores Wilson Furr and Davis Shore. … Vanderbilt started the fall by finishing sixth at the eight-team Carmel Cup, but by the end of the spring the Commodores were firing on all cylinders, winning the Tavistock Collegiate. When everyone is on, Vandy has one of the best top 3s in the country in seniors Will Gordon and Patrick Martin, and junior John Augenstein. … Arkansas is a great dark-horse pick and doesn’t have a senior in its starting lineup. Junior Mason Overstreet has the ability to carry this team, but he likely won’t have to, especially if freshman Julian Perico, who won this fall, keeps improving. … Auburn has a chance to repeat, especially considering sophomore Brandon Mancheno has only gotten better since finishing runner-up at the NCAA Championship last spring. … Texas A&M and LSU have the depth needed to make deep postseason runs. Tigers freshman Michael Sanders is a Phil Mickelson Award candidate. … Tennessee has greatly exceeded expectations in Year 1 under coach Brennan Webb. … Georgia is back in the conversation thanks in large part to super frosh Trent Phillips. … The SEC had all 14 teams qualify for a regional last spring and that could happen again with all but Kentucky ranked 66th or better. … Ole Miss will have big shoes to fill this spring after the midseason departure of senior Braden Thornberry, the program’s all-time wins leader with 11.

Pick to win: Vanderbilt