Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bulldogs, SEC Seek To Repeat At Collegiate Challenge Cup

The No. 5-ranked Georgia men’s golf team will continue the fall portion of its schedule this weekend in the DICK’S Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup at the Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs, Tenn.

The tournament features 36 holes of stroke play on Friday and 18 holes of stroke play on Saturday to determine the medalist and the team champion. On Sunday, the six SEC and six ACC squads will square off in a match-play competition for conference honors.

Georgia claimed the team title in the inaugural event a year ago, topping Texas A&M by five shots and earning Coach Chris Haack his 50th career victory. The Bulldogs then went 5-0 in match play to help the SEC top the ACC 17-8.

The Bulldogs will use a lineup of seniors Mookie DeMoss and Nicholas Reach, junior Lee McCoy, sophomore Greyson Sigg and freshman Zach Healy.  DeMoss, Reach and McCoy were in the lineup a year ago when Georgia has its successful run in the tournament.

Georgia opened the 2014-15 season last month with a five-stroke win in The Carmel Cup in Pebble Beach, Calif. McCoy and DeMoss had top-10 efforts, while Reach and Sigg tied for 15th.

“We’re looking forward to this weekend,” Haack said. “It’s nice having some momentum right out of the gate along with the positive memories of winning there last year. That being said, we need to go in focused and ready to play. No one is going to hand us anything; we’ll have to earn it. “

Georgia will be joined this weekend by SEC counterparts Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt, while Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Louisville, North Carolina State and Virginia will represent the ACC.

Georgia will play the first and second rounds on Friday with Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech. The teams will tee off between 8-8:40 a.m. and 1-1:44 p.m.

Live scoring and tee times can be found at and additional information is available on the tournament central page.

The tournament will be recapped in a one-hour show on ESPNU on Sunday, Oct. 12, at 2 p.m. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kirk Second, Watson Fifth In Final FedExCup Standings

Chris Kirk watches his shot during the TOUR Championship last weekend.
Chris Kirk and Bubba Watson finished in the Top 5 of the FedExCup Standings as the 2013-14 PGA TOUR schedule came to an end on Sunday.

Kirk came in second and Watson placed fifth as the season wrapped up at the TOUR Championship at East Lake on Sunday. Kirk placed fourth and Watson 14th in the final event of the year.

Russell Henley finished 12th in the tournament and 19th in the FedExCup Standings, while Brendon Todd came in 17th and 27th, respectively.

• Following the tournament, Watson was chosen as one of the nominees for the Jack Nicklaus Award as the PGA TOUR Player of the Year. Watson had two wins — the Masters and the Northern Trust Open — in 21 events and finished second on the money list with $6.3 million. Watson also had a career-high eight Top-10 finishes.

• Hudson Swafford came in 22nd and Ryuji Imada missed the cut in the third of four Tour Finals, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. Swafford stands 35th on the list of 50 players who make up the priority ranking order for 2014-15 on the PGA TOUR with one event remaining, the Tour Championship.

• Sophomore Jaime Lopez Rivarola helped Argentina finish fifth in the World Team Amateur Championship in Japan. Lopez Rivarola shot 9-under for the tournament as Argentina wound up five shots behind the Americans.

• The Bulldogs will return to action Friday through Sunday in the Dick's Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup in Nashville, Tenn. Georgia won the inaugural event last year and helped the SEC claim conference honors over the ACC. The Bulldogs will use a lineup of seniors Mookie DeMoss and Nicholas Reach, junior Lee McCoy, sophomore Greyson Sigg and freshman Zach Healy. The teams will play 54 holes over the first two days, followed by SEC vs. ACC match play on Sunday.

• Georgia Golf is saddened by the passing of Hugh Royer, a Bulldog letterman from 1956-58 and team captain his senior year. He was 78. Royer was a 14-year PGA TOUR player, Georgia PGA past president and longtime head professional at Bull Creek Golf Course in Columbus. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Columbus Hospice House, 7020 Moon Rd., Columbus, Ga. 31909.

• The 2014 Bulldog Open is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 26, at the UGA Golf Course.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Kirk, Watson Control Their Own Destiny; Henley, Todd Also Make The Top 29

Bubba Watson stands third in the FedExUp Standings heading into this week's TOUR Championship.
The top five players in the FedExCup Standings – including two Bulldogs -- heading into this week’s TOUR Championship control their own fate in regards to winning the FedExCup trophy and the $10 million bonus.

Georgia alums Chris Kirk and Bubba Watson are Nos. 1 and 3, respectively, while Billy Horschel is No. 2, Rory McIlroy is No. 4 and Hunter Mahan is No. 5.

The FedExCup points will now be reset to give everybody in the 29-man field an opportunity to win the FedExCup. But just the top five are guaranteed the opportunity to win the FedExCup by winning the TOUR Championship. Everybody else must have varying degrees of help to claim golf's biggest prize.

A year ago, Kirk finished 34th in points. Thanks to his win at TPC Boston, Kirk was safely inside the top five coming into this week and guaranteed his first start at East Lake.

"It's obviously what everyone is hoping for starting off the year, to be in that kind of position going into Atlanta. I couldn't be happier," Kirk said.  "It was definitely a goal of mine for this year. I'm not a big goal-setting guy, but it's something that I've wanted to do for awhile now. I'm glad I was able to pull it off."

Watson, meanwhile, is looking forward to the opportunity to capping off a season that already includes wins at the Masters and the Northern Trust Open.

"Maybe that's when I make my putts," Watson said about East Lake. "That would be nice to make them there. Ten million bucks worth of putts wouldn't be too bad."

No. 20 Russell Henley and No. 27 Brendon Todd also will tee it up at East Lake this week. Our friends at have come up with the Bulldogs’ best-case scenarios of winning the FedExCup:

Kirk: If he wins the TOUR Championship he wins the Cup; he has a reasonable chance of winning with a top-5 finish; and he can finish as low as 29th and still have a mathematical chance of winning.

Watson: If he wins the TOUR Championship, he wins the Cup; he has a reasonable chance of winning with a second-place finish; and he can finish as low as T-4th and still have a mathematical chance of winning.

Henley: Wins the TOUR Championship and No. 1 (Kirk) finishes in a three-way tie for 12th or worse, No. 2 (Horschel) finishes fifth or worse, No. 3 (Watson) finishes in a three-way tie for third or worse, No. 4 (McIlroy) finishes third or worse, No. 5 (Mahan) finishes in a three-way tie for second or worse, and No. 6 (Jimmy Walker) finishes T-2 or worse.

Todd: Wins the TOUR Championship and No. 1 (Kirk) finishes 23rd or worse, No. 2 (Horschel) finishes T-6 or worse, No. 3 (Watson) finishes T-4 or worse, No. 4 (McIlroy) finishes T-3 or worse, No. 5 (Mahan) finishes in a three-way tie for second or worse and No. 6 (Walker) finishes T-2 or worse.

• The first-round tee times are Todd at 11:50 a.m., Henley at 12:30 p.m., Watson at 1:50 p.m. and English at 2 p.m.

• At the BMW Championship over the weekend, Watson was the top Bulldog in second place at 12-under. English came in 31st, Kirk and Todd tied for 36th, Harman finished 43rd, Compton wound up 46th and Henley placed 59th.

• Hudson Swafford came in 10th 1t 11-under in the Tour’s Chiquita Classic in North Carolina. Ryuji Imada missed the cut. 

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, the third of the four Tour Finals, will take place this week. Swafford sits 20th in the Finals and needs to finish in the top 25 to retain his PGA TOUR card for next season.

• In the Champions Tour’s Quebec Championship, Chip Beck finished 49th at 1-under.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Kirk Not On Ryder Cup Team, But He Will Be Between The Hedges!

Chris Kirk was not one of Tom Watson's captain's picks for the United States Ryder Cup Team on Tuesday, but he still has plans for that weekend, according to his Twitter account.

Several Bulldogs from the PGA TOUR, including Kirk, are expected to be in Athens the weekend of Sept. 26-27 for the Tee-Off Club's Bulldog Open and the Georgia-Tennessee football game. The Ryder Cup will take place the same weekend at Gleneagles.

Watson selected Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson to complete an American team that will try to end two decades of European dominance in the Ryder Cup. (By the way, is it just us or does Simpson bear a striking resemblance to Kirk?)

Kirk, who has never played in a Ryder Cup, finished ahead of Simpson in the standings and has won twice this year, including last week's FedEx Cup playoff event.

The Bulldogs still will be represented on the U.S. Ryder Cup Team as Bubba Watson will participate.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kirk Makes Bid For Ryder Cup Team With Win At Deutsche Bank Championship

Chris Kirk holds the trophy after winning the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday.
NORTON, Mass. -- Chris Kirk picked up the biggest win of his career with a two-stroke victory Monday at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Just how big he’ll have to wait to see.
But that’s a story for Tuesday night when Tom Watson makes his captain’s picks for the Ryder Cup.
In the meantime, Kirk was happy with moving to the top of the FedExCup standings and earning a spot in the season-ending TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, where the Atlanta native will have a chance to play for $10 million and his first FedExCup title.
“I'm still just in such shock that I actually won this tournament,” Kirk said. “It's going to take me a little while to figure that out.”
A dozen birdies -- including five on Monday -- and no bogeys over the final 36 holes at TPC Boston certainly helped.
So apparently did playing alongside Rory McIlroy a day earlier. Kirk fed off the environment and matched the world’s top-ranked player shot for shot.
On Monday, Kirk held McIlroy, and everybody else, off with more mistake-free golf.
“Being in the group with (McIlroy) and watching him play so great (Sunday) … and just the huge crowds that go along with that, it's really just kind of heightens your focus a little bit,” Kirk said. “That's something that I do struggle with every now and then, really getting myself into it and getting focused, playing how many tournaments we play every year, every single shot, it's hard to get to that extreme level of focus where you don't even see anything around you or hear anything.”
It was quite a turnaround from earlier in the week.
Ten shots behind after the opening round, Kirk was so disgusted he skipped his usual practice session.
But by the time he got to Monday he had rounded into form. Kirk made two birdies and a clutch 15-footer for par over his final nine holes to stay in front.
As for whether he makes the Ryder Cup?
“I would absolutely love to do it,” he said. “But I'm not going to really base how happy I am with how I'm playing, or how my year has gone, on whether I make the team or not.”

• All seven Bulldogs in the field at the Deutsche Bank Championship remained in the top 70 in the FedExCup standings and will move on to this week's BMW Championship in Colorado. The new standings are No. 1 Kirk, No. 6 Bubba Watson, No. 14 Russell Henley, No. 25 Brendon Todd, No. 31 Harris English, No. 33 Brian Harman and No. 62 Erik Compton. The top 30 after the BMW Championship will advance to TOUR Championship.

Henley came in second to Kirk at the Deutsche Bank Championship, just two shots back.

• Hudson Swafford and Ryuji Imada missed the cut in the Hotel Fitness Championship, the first leg of the Tour Finals. They will play this week in the Chiquita Classic in North Carolina.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bulldogs Claim The Carmel Cup

The Bulldogs celebrate after winning The Carmel Cup at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Sunday.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. --- The No. 5-ranked Georgia Bulldogs claimed first place on Sunday in The Carmel Cup at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

The Bulldogs went wire-to-wire atop the leaderboard at the season-opening event. Georgia finished at 17-under 1,063, including a final-round 7-under 353, for a 5-stroke victory over Vanderbilt.

Lee McCoy came in second at 9-under 207, two shots shy of Vanderbilt's Hunter Stewart. Mookie DeMoss placed eighth at 4-under 212, while Nicholas Reach, Greyson Sigg and Sepp Straka came in 15th at even-par 216, and Zach Healy wound up 46th at 10-over 226.

"It's a long season of course, but to win right out of the gate does a lot for us," Georgia coach Chris Haack said. "Anytime you get to hold the trophy on the last day, it's a shot in the arm for your confidence. Our guys played well all summer and they were steady in this tournament. We can build on this as we move forward."

The Bulldogs will return to action Sept. 19-21 in the Dick's Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup in Nashville, Tenn. Georgia is the tournament's defending champion.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bulldogs To Open Season At Pebble Beach

Sepp Straka returns to the Georgia lineup after redshirting in 2013-14.
The Georgia men’s golf team will kick off the fall portion of the 2014-15 schedule this weekend in The Carmel Cup in Pebble Beach, Calif.

The Bulldogs, who were 11th at the 2014 NCAA Championships just three months ago, will begin the season with 54 holes on the Pebble Beach Links Friday through Sunday. Joining the Bulldogs will be SEC counterparts South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Arkansas along with Big 12 teams Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas Tech. Tee times and live scoring can be found at

Coach Chris Haack will open his 19th season in Athens with a lineup of senior captain Mookie DeMoss, senior Nicholas Reach, redshirt junior Sepp Straka, junior Lee McCoy, sophomore Greyson Sigg and freshman Zach Healy. The tournament format consists of six players with five counting (as opposed to the typical five players with four counting).

McCoy earned All-America and All-SEC honors a year ago as he posted a scoring average of 71.34 — second-best on the team. Reach ranked fourth with a scoring average of 72.70, Sigg was sixth at 73.07 and DeMoss was seventh at 73.50. Straka redshirted last season, while Healy will be making his Georgia debut. The Bulldogs won four events last season and their lone finish outside the top 10 was the 11th-place effort at the NCAAs.

This is the earliest the Bulldogs have ever opened the fall portion of their schedule. But this is the final year of The Carmel Cup and playing at Pebble Beach was an opportunity they did not want to pass up.

“The start of the season is always exciting and it’s even more exciting this year because we get to do it at Pebble Beach,” Haack said. “This is a world-class facility, one of the most famous in golf, so it’s an honor to get to participate. I’m also excited about seeing the way our team performs. It’s a new year, so we have to create our team identity and begin the process of building toward championships. The six guys played well in qualifying and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do in this tournament.”

The Bulldogs will begin play at 1 p.m. on Friday with their counterparts from Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.

• The Bulldogs are No. 5 in the initial GCAA Coaches Preseason Poll released on Thursday. Alabama and Oklahoma State shared the top spot, followed by No. 3 Georgia Tech and No. 4 Texas. Other SEC teams in the rankings include No. 9 LSU, No. 12 South Carolina, No. 16 Vanderbilt, No. 21 Auburn, No. 22 Arkansas