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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Golfweek Profiles McGladrey Defending Champ Kirk

Chris Kirk is coming off the season of his life, having won not once, but twice in 2013-14, including the McGladrey Classic, which he’ll try to defend beginning Thursday not far from his former home in Sea Island. He earned nearly $5 million in 2013-14, missed only two cuts in 28 starts, amassed five top 10s and a dozen top 25s and was second in the final FedEx Cup standings. Golfweek writer Jeff Babineau asks, what can do Kirk for an encore?

• Speaking of the McGladrey, check out this photo of Russell Henley jamming with Darius Rucker in a pre-event concert.

• The Bulldogs finished 14th on Tuesday in the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational in Windermere, Fla. The Bulldogs fired a final-round 6-over 294 to wind up at 13-over 877. Florida State claimed team honors at 37-under 827. Sepp Straka finished at 3-under 213, 10 shots in back of Vanderbilt's Hunter Stewart. Greyson Sigg wound up at 4-over 220, followed by Mookie DeMoss at 6-over 222, Zach Healy at 9-over 225 and Sam Straka at 14-over 230. The Bulldogs will conclude the fall portion of their schedule Nov. 7-9 in the Ka'anapali Collegiate Classic in Hawaii.

• Joey Garber, T.J. Mitchell and Adam Mitchell have advanced to the second round of the Web.com Tour Q-School. Garber placed 16th at Johns Creek, Ga.; T.J. Mitchell took seventh in Nebraska City, Neb.; and Adam Mitchell came in 10th at Pine Mountain, Ga. Matt McQuillan (Beaumont, Calif.) and Michael Cromie (Pinehurst, N.C.) are in contention in their events that end on Friday.



Friday, October 17, 2014

Bulldogs Ready For Tavistock Collegiate Invitational

Georgia will continue the fall portion of its schedule next week in the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational in Orlando, Fla.

The tournament will be held Sunday through Tuesday at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club. The event was formerly known as the Isleworth Invitational and the Bulldogs last played in it in 2010. Georgia won the Isleworth Invitational in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008.

Haack will use a lineup of seniors Mookie DeMoss and Sam Straka, redshirt junior Sepp Straka, sophomore Greyson Sigg and freshman Zach Healy. This will mark the first time the Straka twins have been in the playing lineup at the same time in their collegiate careers. In three previous tournaments, either one or both appeared as an individual.

DeMoss is the top Bulldog in the lineup with a 72.33 scoring average. Sepp Straka is next at 72.50, followed by Sigg at 72.56 and Healy at 74.67. Sam Straka will be making his 2014-15 debut.

Joining the Bulldogs and co-hosts Central Florida and Texas Tech in the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational will be Florida State, Baylor, Florida, North Florida, Indiana, Vanderbilt, Illinois, UNLC, GRU Augusta and New Mexico.

The Bulldogs will tee off on Sunday between 8:50 and 9:30 a.m. with their counterparts from California and Arkansas. Live results can be found here.

• In the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, Harris English placed 16th at 12-under, followed by Hudson Swafford at 11-under, Erik Compton at 10-under and Kevin Kisner at 5-under.

• The McGladrey Classic on the Seaside Course at Sea Island (the site of the SEC Championship) will take place this week with a strong Bulldog feel. Defending champ Chris Kirk will be joined by English, Swafford, Compton, Kisner, Brendon Todd, Russell Henley and Brian Harman.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Swafford Places Eighth In Frys.com Open

Hudson Swafford, right, and his caddie follow his drive from the 14th tee on Sunday in the Frys.com Open.
The 2014-15 PGA Tour season is underway and Hudson Swafford already has a top-10 finish.

Swafford came in eighth at 11-under, just four shots off the pace, at the season-opening Frys.com Open at Silverado Country Club in Napa, Calif. Swafford put himself in contention Sunday with a 5-under tally of 67, which tied for low round of the day. On the front nine, he made three birdies and closed with a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-5 ninth.

Afterward, Swafford was asked how much more relaxed he feels with a good finish to start the season.

“Not so much relaxed; it's a confidence builder, really,” he said. “We are going into a three‑week stretch, and I like playing three weeks in a row. I feel like some of my best golf comes actually in the second week, so to start hitting the ball really well on Sunday and get myself in contention was good. I think my game handled it pretty well. It tested every bit of it this week. I’m just looking forward to the next couple weeks.”

Kevin Kisner came in 21st at 7-under, Erik Compton placed 46th at 3-under and Harris English missed the cut.

• Next up is the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. Swafford, Kisner, Compton and English are slated to participate.

• The Bulldogs will be back in action Sunday through Tuesday in the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational (formerly the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational) in Lake Nona, Fla. Check back later this week for the lineup and more details on the tournament.

• In Southhampton, Bermuda, U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer won the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in a one-hole playoff over Masters champion Bubba Watson.

Kaymer won on the first playoff hole at Port Royal by making a 10-foot birdie and then watching Watson miss his birdie putt from four feet.

"I was surprised that he missed it," Kaymer said. "Obviously, you don't want to win a golf tournament that way, but I'll take it."

Said Watson, "I hit great putts. They just didn't want to go in this week. That's how golf is sometimes."

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bulldogs Finish 10th In Nike Invite

FORT WORTH, Texas --- The No. 7-ranked Georgia men's golf team finished 10th on Tuesday in the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational.

The Bulldogs shot a final-round 15-over 295 at Colonial Country Club to wind up at 53-over 893. Team honors went to Oregon at 11-over 851.

Sophomore Greyson Sigg paced the Bulldogs on Tuesday as he fired a 2-over 72. Junior Sepp Straka signed for a 3-over 73, while sophomores Parker Derby and Jaime Lopez Rivarola each carded a 5-over 75.

Sigg finished 11th individually at 7-over 217, 15 shots in back of Oregon's Thomas Lim (202). Straka claimed 19th at 9-over 219, followed by Derby at 18-over 228 and Lopez Rivarola at 19-over 229.

The Bulldogs played without junior Lee McCoy, currently the nation's top-rated player according to Golfweek/Sagarin, as he had to withdraw early in the first round with an injury. McCoy had placed first and second individually in Georgia's season-opening events.

“We definitely didn't play our best golf this week,” Georgia coach Chris Haack said. “But we'll focus on the positives and we'll build on them. It's important that we get back to work and get ready for the next one.”

Georgia will return to action Oct. 17-19 in the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational in Lake Nona, Fla.

• Hard to believe, but the 2014-15 PGA Tour schedule gets under way this week with the Frys.com Open in California. Erik Compton, Kevin Kisner, Harris English and Hudson Swafford will be in action.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bulldogs To Play In Inaugural Nike Event

Parker Derby was Georgia's top player in the qualifying tournaments.
FORT WORTH, Texas --- The seventh-ranked Georgia men's golf team will continue the fall portion of its schedule by competing in the inaugural Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational this week.

The event, slated for Monday and Tuesday, will be held at Colonial Country Club, the site of the PGA Tour's Crowne Plaza Invitational.

Georgia coach Chris Haack will use a lineup of juniors Lee McCoy and Sepp Straka and sophomores Parker Derby, Jaime Lopez Rivarola and Greyson Sigg.

McCoy leads the Bulldogs with a 68.67 scoring average and he has finished second and first individually in Georgia's two fall events. Derby and Lopez Rivarola will be making their 2014-15 debuts after playing just one tournament each last season.

"This is a little different lineup for us, but these guys played well in the qualifiers and earned their spots," Haack said. "We've always thought competition is good for our players. They've had to battle their teammates and now they get to battle some really good players from across the country. This will be a good experience for our guys."

The Bulldogs and host TCU will be joined by Texas, Oklahoma, Stanford, Washington, Vanderbilt, Southern Cal, Oregon, Ohio State, Arizona and Duke. The teams will play 36 holes on Monday and 18 holes on Tuesday.

“With Colonial’s rich history and tradition, playing host to one of the longest running events on the PGA Tour coupled with Nike Golf’s state-of-the-art research and development facility, The Oven, (this is) the ideal place to host this inaugural tournament,” said Cricket Musch, Sports Marketing Director of College, Amateur and Junior Golf at Nike Golf. “Our partnership with Colonial and the city of Fort Worth will offer an unforgettable experience for these top college golf programs.”

The 2015 Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational will be hosted by Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club outside of Portland, Ore., and will return to Colonial Country Club in 2016.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ryder Cup Redux, Award For McCoy, Dogs-Jackets Working Together, Bulldog Open

Bubba Watson and the Americans fell to Europe 16.5-11.5 in the Ryder Cup.
Another Ryder Cup is in the books with the United States dropping a 16.5-11.5 decision to Europe at Gleneagles.

Captain Tom Watson has been taking his share of body blows for lineup decisions since the loss. And at least one pundit is floating the notion that Georgia's Chris Haack would make a great captain for the United States in the future.

Wrote ESPN.com's Farrell Evans: "The next U.S. Ryder Cup captain needs to be a real coach, the type of person who coaches golf teams for a living. Why not reach into the college ranks and get a full-time men's golf coach? Chris Haack, the Georgia men's coach, had two of his former players on this U.S. team, Bubba Watson and (Patrick) Reed, and he had several other players in the running to qualify for the team. Come Spring, Haack leads a squad into the match-play portion of the NCAA men's championship. The PGA of America and its sponsors might require more gravitas for the face of its U.S. team than a college coach, but it might be worth it for the powers that be to consider how to learn from those who work with teams on a full-time basis."

Speaking of Bubba, he went 0-3 in his matches in the Ryder Cup.

• Lee McCoy may be the hottest golfer in the country right now. He won the DICK's Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup after finishing second in The Carmel Cup (and all of this came after a summer filled with top-10s, including medalist honors at the U.S. Amateur). Golfweek.com has been paying attention and named McCoy its Player of Week.

• Russell Henley and Chris Kirk helped keep the Georgia flag on top as they defeated Georgia Tech’s Cameron Tringale and Roberto Castro in the inaugural Cohan Cup. The match was all square through 17 holes at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Henley and Kirk each made birdie on the 18th hole, while Tringale and Castro each missed birdie putts. Final score: Georgia 62, Tech 63. The event is named in honor of former Tech golfer Adam Cohan, who was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago. His leukemia is in remission and he spends much of his time fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The foursome has been raising money for LLS and all proceeds from the event will go it.

• Congratulations to Butler Melnyk, John Tillery, Kevin Kisner and Mike Hostilo on winning the 2014 Bulldog Open. Photos from the day will be posted here soon. Thanks to everyone who contributed to making it a great day.

• Henley, Kirk, Kisner and PGA brethren Hudson Swafford, Brian Harman and Harris English were introduced along with Haack (below) during the Georgia-Tennessee game on Saturday.


Monday, September 22, 2014

McCoy Claims Medalist Honors At Collegiate Challenge Cup

Georgia junior Lee McCoy claimed medalist honors in the DICK'S Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup last weekend at the Golf Club of Tennessee.

McCoy, a junior, fired a final-round 2-under 69 to wind up at 8-under 205 for the tournament, He edged South Carolina's Will Starke by one shot.

“I honestly had no idea where I was, and I had no idea where Will was," McCoy said. "I had no idea I had won until everyone started clapping when I made that last putt. I had not a clue in the world. … This is one of my favorite golf courses we come to all year. And to win out here, it’s something special.”

The win was the second in McCoy's collegiate career and it also continues what has been a red-hot summer/fall for him. He claimed medalist honors at the U.S. Amateur and had top-10 efforts in the Canadian Amateur, the Southern Amateur and the Northeast Amateur and a top-20 in the Sunnehana Amateur.

Senior Nicholas Reach followed McCoy to finish 18th at 5-over 218. The Bulldogs wound up fifth as a team at 9-over 861.

Despite Georgia's win over Louisville, the Atlantic Coast Conference topped the Southeastern Conference in the match play portion of the event. The SEC and ACC teams went 2-2-2 against each other, but the ACC had 16.5 wins to the SEC's 13.5.

The Bulldogs got wins from Reach, McCoy and freshman Zach Healy against the Cardinals. Reach topped Gus Lundquist 2&1, McCoy defeated Robert Geibel 2&1 and Healy topped Trevor Sluman 2-up. Senior Mookie DeMoss dropped a 1-up decision to J.D. Lehman and sophomore Greyson Sigg fell to Robin Sciot-Siegrist 3&2.

In the other matches, South Carolina beat Virginia 3-2, North Carolina State defeated Texas A&M 4-1, Clemson topped Mississippi 3-1-1, and the Georgia Tech-Vanderbilt and Missouri-Duke matches ended in 2-2-1 draws.

The Bulldogs will return to action Oct. 6-7 in the Swoosh Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas.

• Congratulations are in order for Wright Waddell, who will be inducted into the Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame in Columbus next spring. Waddell was an All-American for the Bulldogs in 1983 and was an All-SEC selection in 1982, 1983 and 1984. Waddell captained the Bulldogs his senior year.

• Bubba Watson and his United States teammates will begin play in the Ryder Cup in Scotland later this week. Watson is making his third Ryder Cup appearance and he boasts a 3-5-0 record.

• Chip Beck finished 40th at 7-under in the Champions Tour's Pacific Links Hawaii Championship.

• Hudson Swafford finished 39th in the Web.com Tour Finals to earn one of the 50 PGA TOUR cards for next season (which begins Oct. 9-12 at the Frys.com Open in California. Swafford came in 25th in the Web.com Tour Championship at 2-under, while Ryuji Imada missed the cut.