Crimson Tide Top 5: Men's Golf

Throughout the month of June, Bama Central writers will pick the best five players in each Alabama sport, and for each position group in football
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Since its inception in 1952, Alabama golf has been a staple of the Southeastern Conference, when Bobby Hill captured the school's first individual conference championship that year. 

However, the program has taken off and reached new heights under coach Jay Seawell, who has been in Tuscaloosa since 2002. Under him, the Crimson Tide has won two national championships, four SEC championships, reached the NCAA regionals for 16 straight years and seen numerous players off to the PGA and Korn Ferry Tour.

Even before Seawell's arrival, Alabama helped develop standout professionals like Steve Lowery, Marten Olander, David Kirkpatrick and Dicky Pride.

5. Bobby Wyatt

Wyatt is the Crimson Tide's most recent SEC-individual-championship winner back in 2014. The Mobile, Ala. product, 2013 First Team All-SEC and Golfweek First Team All-American selection played a pivotal role in Alabama's back-to-back national championships during the 2013 and 2014 campaigns. 

As a sophomore, he led all scorers and helped the United States win the 2013 Walker Cup. Besides his accolades with the Crimson Tide, Wyatt's claim to fame is shooting an unheard of 57 at the 2010 Alabama Boys State Championship. 

4. Bud Cauley

Before he even arrived at Alabama, Cauley was a household name on the junior-golf scene, ranked No. 1 in the nation. He lived up to the hype at the Capstone being named a Golfweek First-Team All-American and a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award, given to the best college golfer, after all three seasons (2009-2011) he donned the crimson and white. 

In 2009, he was named the SEC Freshman of the Year. Cauley was also selected to the 10-man United States Walker Cup team that year. Overall, he had three tournament victories as a member of the Crimson Tide. 

Cauley earned First Team All-SEC honors in each of his three seasons as well before turning professional in 2011.

3. Michael Thompson 

Thompson only spent one year in Tuscaloosa and he made the most of it. 

After transferring from Tulane due to the Green Wave disbanding its men's golf program because of Hurricane Katrina, Thompson went on to have one of the most decorated seasons anyone had seen up until that point at Alabama. 

His 2008 individual SEC championship was only the second in program history and first since 1952 at the time. Thompson also was named the league's Player of the Year and was a First Team All-American that season, while leading the Crimson Tide to the 2008 team SEC title as well. 

2. Justin Thomas 

Alabama was already a stellar program before his arrival, but Thomas helped elevate the Crimson Tide to elite status. 

In his first of two seasons at the collegiate level, Thomas was the Haskins Award winner, given to the best freshman in the country, the Nicklaus Award winner, which honors the national player of the year and the SEC's Player and Freshman of the Year.

He also took home the school's third individual SEC crown in 2012.

As a two-time First Team All-SEC honoree, Thomas helped Alabama capture its first-ever national championship in 2013 before turning pro. He won a total of six events while being a member of the Crimson Tide.

1. Jerry Pate

While he never won an SEC title, Alabama's success and reputation as a program might not be what it is without the contributions of Pate. As a team captain, he helped the Crimson Tide earn bids to the NCAA tournament in three consecutive seasons from 1973-1975, which were the first in school history. 

He was a First Team All-SEC selection in 1973 and 1974, while being a Second Team All-SEC member in 1975. Pate was also the first All-American in Alabama history during his final year before turning pro. 

After a successful professional career that saw Pate win the 1976 U.S Open, earn eight victories on the PGA Tour and become of a member of the 1981 U.S Ryder Cup Team, he designed Ol' Colony Golf Course, which is the home of the Crimson Tide and where the men's and women's programs train.

The Crimson Tide Top 5 will appear every day during the month of June on BamaCentral.

Crimson Tide Top 5: Introduction

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