Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Six Bulldogs To Tee It Up In Phoenix Open

• Six Bulldogs will be playing this week in the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Ariz.: Brian Harman, Russell Henley, Kevin Kisner, Harris English, Erik Compton and Bubba Watson. Hudson Swafford is listed as an alternate.

• The Tour will open its season in the Panama Claro Championship. Bryden Macpherson, Justin Bolli, Ryuji Imada and Scott Parel are in the field.

• Compton was the top Bulldog in the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation as he finished 10th at 19-under. English placed 30th at 14-under and Chris Kirk was 56th at 11-under. Swafford, Kisner and Brendon Todd missed the cut.

• Georgia's alums continue to lead the Rivals Cup standings. The Bulldogs have earned $4.5 million this year, followed by UNLV at $3.7 million and Baylor at $2 million.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Six Bulldogs Ready For Humana Challenge

Harris English watches his shot during last week's Sony Open.
• The 2015 PGA Tour schedule continues this weekend with the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif. The Bulldogs slated to participate include Hudson Swafford, Kevin Kisner, Chris Kirk, Erik Compton, Harris English and Brendon Todd.

• English was the top Bulldog in last week's Sony Open as he took third at 13-under. Brian Harman placed 13th at 11-under, followed by Russell Henley in 17th at 10-under, Kirk in 26th at 9-under and Todd in 44th at 6-under. Kisner fell into the "made cut, did not finish" category, while Swafford and Ryuji Imada missed the cut.

• The Bulldogs obliterated the field in last year's Rivals Cup and are off to a good start in 2015. Georgia's alums rank first with $4.35 million in earnings, followed by UNLV at $3.3 million and Baylor at $2 million. Last year, the Bulldogs earned $25.9 million, more than No. 2 Oklahoma State ($12.8 million) and Georgia Tech ($12.2 million) combined.

• Two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson is now a part owner in the Pensacola (Fla.) Blue Wahoos, the AA affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The Wahoos are based 20 miles from Bagdad, the small town in which Watson grew up.

"You won't see me out there in a uniform," Watson said. "I already asked, and they said I can't do that even if I own part of the team. Ever since I went to my first Blue Wahoos game, I have been a big fan. I love the atmosphere. It's such a great place to go with friends and family. There's something special about pulling for the hometown team."

Watson's arrival has already made a mark on the Wahoos' Pensacola Bayfront Stadium as the bar and restaurant has been renamed Bubba's Sand Trap in his honor. Hungry fans will be able to enjoy a Bubba Dub Grilled Cheese.

The fund for Charley Odom, the daughter of former UGA golfers Bryant and Abbi (Francis), reached $30,000 this week after an initial goal of $20,000. Please keep these fine Bulldogs in your prayers and donate if you are able to.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Henley, Todd, Watson Reach Top 10 In Hawaii

Russell Henley watches his shot during the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Three Bulldogs finished in the top 10 of the PGA Tour's Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Sunday in Kapalua, Hawaii. Russell Henley came in third at 20-under, missing the playoff between Patrick Reed and Jimmy Walker by just one stroke. Brendon Todd took eighth at 16-under, while Bubba Watson came in 10th at 15-under. In addition, Chris Kirk placed 14th at 13-under and Brian Harman took 17th at 12-under.

• The Sony Open in Hawaii gets under way on Thursday. Henley, Todd, Kirk, Harman, Kevin Kisner, Hudson Swafford, Ryuji Imada and Harris English are in the field.

• Breaking news (Jan. 15, 9:30 a.m.): Per the NCAA, the 2016 NCAA Championship will be held at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club and the 2017 NCAAs will be at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Bryant, Abbi & Charley Odom Need Our Help!

On Dec. 30, 2014, Charlotte “Charley” Linn Odom was born to Bryant and Abbi -- each of whom played golf at Georgia -- by means of an emergency C-section, due to a dropping and sporadic heart rate. She weighed 3 pounds and 5 ounces. Charley had spent 31 weeks growing in the safety of Abbi’s womb, but she could grow there no longer and entered this world nine weeks sooner than expected.

Amidst all of the rejoicing at the birth of precious little Charley, the Odoms' trials were not over. As Charley was born she was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for further evaluation and necessary life support systems.  The esophageal issues that had been suspected by the specialist were now clearly seen by the hospital’s medical team.  Charley was born with aTracheoesophageal Fistula (TE Fistula) – a gap in the middle of the esophagus which prohibits food and fluid from finding its way to her tiny little tummy.  Thirty-six hours after being born, little Charley underwent surgery to repair the TE Fistula. The surgery was a success, but the road to recovery will not be swift.  Charley will spend anywhere from 6-8 more weeks in the hospital’s NICU. 

While Bryant and Abbi have adequate health insurance by some standards, the costs of Abbi’s C-section, Charley’s surgery and her long term care in the NICU will stretch their policy’s out-of-pocket maximum allowance well beyond its borders.  Another exacerbating issue is that since this hospital journey began on Dec. 30, 2014, and continues into 2015, both the 2014 and 2015 deductibles and maximums will be utilized. 

The Odoms live in Cullowhee, N.C., where Bryant coaches the Western Carolina University golf team, and Abbi is a third-grade teacher at a local charter school. They have been in North Carolina for only a year and a half.  Because of that, Abbi has accrued little sick leave – not nearly enough to support this necessary extended absence.  She will miss over 11 weeks of work as she cares for the needs of her newborn.  

Bryant and Abbi are hardworking people. They labor well at the jobs that they have been given and seek to be wise stewards of all that has been entrusted to them.  In spite of all that, they find themselves needing some help in order to meet the financial needs that are providentially being written upon the pages of their story.  For years this husband and wife team has dreamed of becoming a mom and dad team.  That dream is now being realized, but at great expense.

Would you please join Bryant and Abbi in praying for the ever increasing health and strength of little Charley?  Would you also consider coming alongside team Odom financially as they face the mounting medical bills of bringing their baby home?   

Your prayers, your gifts, and your words of encouragement are cherished by Charley’s mom and dad, as well as by those of us who love them!  Thanks for your support!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Bulldogs Add Two Tournaments For The Spring

The Bulldogs have added two tournaments to the 2015 portion of their schedule, including one in Athens.

The Southern Intercollegiate — a 36-hole stroke play event — will be held March 16 at the Athens Country Club. The Bulldogs will host GRU Augusta, Chattanooga, Georgia State, Furman, Charleston Southern, Lipscomb, Presbyterian, Youngstown State, Princeton, Francis Marion, Western Carolina, Stetson, Savannah State and Maryland Eastern Shore.

The Bulldogs also will play March 29-30 in the Seahawk Intercollegiate in Wilmington, N.C. The Bulldogs and host UNC-Wilmington will be joined by Campbell, Old Dominion, Virginia Commonwealth, Columbia, Harvard, George Washington, Loyola-Maryland, Richmond, South Dakota State, Elon, George Mason, Army and East Tennessee State.

• There were seven PGA Tour-sanctioned events in October and November, but the official start to the season will be this weekend.

The 2015 Hyundai Tournament of Champions will take place at The Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii. The event is for players who won PGA Tour events in 2014, including five Bulldogs: Bubba Watson (Masters, Northern Trust Open, World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions); Russell Henley (Honda Classic); Brendon Todd (AT&T Byron Nelson Championship); Brian Harman (John Deere Classic); and Chris Kirk (Deutsche Bank Championship).

Kirk and Watson will make up one of the first-round twosomes, while Henley and one-time Bulldog Patrick Reed will be in another.

• From the looks of this photo, Todd and his wife, Rachel, are starting off little Oliver the right way in terms of school allegiance.

• Bulldogs Gameweek, which airs on WSB Channel 2 in Atlanta, interviewed Lee McCoy this week about his experience in the informal Walker Cup practice session on St. Simons Island in December. Be sure to tune in on Saturday at 10 a.m.

 • In case you missed it, Bryden Macpherson secured solid Tour status for 2015 by finishing the 108-hole Q-School inside the top 45. Macpherson came in 21st at 10-under. Scott Parel took 94th and Paul Claxton came in 114th.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Three Bulldogs Playing In Tour Q-School Finals

Bubba Watson watches his drive during the Hero World Challenge.
• Bryden Macpherson, Scott Parel and Paul Claxton are playing this week in the Tour Q-School Finals in Palm Beach Garden, Fla.

• Harris English is paired with Matt Kuchar in the Franklin Templeton Shootout this week as they attempt to defend their 2013 title.

• Bubba Watson’s hole-out for eagle In the final round of the World Golf Championships - HSBC Champions, has been chosen by as the No. 1 shot of 2014. Watson drained a clutch bunker shot on the par-5 18th hole for eagle to tie the lead and followed up on the first playoff hole with a 20-foot putt for birdie to win the tournament.

• Watson was 11th and Chris Kirk was 16th in the Hero World Challenge in Windermere, Fla., last week.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Watson, Kirk Set For Hero World Challenge

Bubba Watson and Chris Kirk will be two members of the 16-man Hero World Challenge this weekend at Isleworth Golf and Country Club in Windermere, Fla.

Kirk will tee off with Billy Horschel at 11:55 a.m. Thursday, while Watson will compete at 12:25 p.m. with Rickie Fowler.

Since its inception in 1996, the Tiger Woods Foundation has raised more than $80 million to support students at every stage of their academic careers through dedicated mentors, professional development workshops and internships. Now in its 16th year, the Hero World Challenge has contributed $25 million of that alone.

Watson also used the event as a way to confirm a rumor that's been swirling around.