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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Nine Bulldogs Make It To FedExCup Playoffs

The Bulldogs have nine players in The Barclays, the first of the four tournaments to determine the 2014-15 FedExCup champion.

No. 3 Bubba Watson, No. 17 Kevin Kisner, No. 29 Chris Kirk, No. 38 Russell Henley, No. 42 Harris English, No. 53 Brendon Todd, No. 69 Brian Harman, No. 100 Hudson Swafford and No. 122 Erik Compton made the 125-man field for the Playoffs.

The Barclays will be held Thursday through Sunday at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J. The Playoffs field will be pared down for the Deutsche Bank Championship (100) and the BMW Championship (70), leading to the 30-man Tour Championship.

• Bryden Macpherson and Scott Parel will be in action in the Web.com Tour's WinCo Foods Portland Open in Oregon.

This is the 21st and final regular-season event on the Web.com Tour schedule. On Sunday (Aug. 30th), the first 25 of 50 available PGA Tour cards for the 2015-16 season will be handed out. The top 75 on Sunday night will be exempt into the Finals and guaranteed fully exempt status on the Web.com Tour in 2016 if they do not secure a Tour card. A second set of 25 cards will be on the line at the four-event Web.com Tour Finals, which get under way Sept. 10-13 in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Parel is No. 74, Macpherson is No. 126 in the standings.




Monday, August 10, 2015

McCoy Named To U.S. Walker Cup Team

FAR HILLS, N.J. --- Georgia's Lee McCoy has been named to the United States Walker Cup Team, according to an announcement on Monday by the United States Golf Association.

The 45th match between the Americans and their amateur counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland will be held Sept. 12-13 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England. The U.S. leads the overall series 35-8-1.

Joining McCoy on the U.S. roster are Bryson DeChambeau, Beau Hossler, Maverick McNealy and Hunter Stewart. Team USA will be captained by John “Spider” Miller. The remaining five players will be named following the U.S. Amateur in Illinois next week.

"I don't hesitate to consider this my greatest accomplishment in the game of golf," McCoy said. "I had the opportunity to play in some incredible events this summer, but this is the one I've had on my mind for a long time. This is the big one. I could not be more excited."

“The USGA is proud to select these five young men, all with brimming golf résumés, to represent the USA at the Walker Cup Match,” said Diana M. Murphy, USGA vice president and chairman of the USGA’s Championship Committee. “They represent all of the fine qualities that make the Walker Cup such a traditional and renowned international amateur golf competition.”

McCoy, a senior from Clarkesville, Ga., had one of the most celebrated campaigns in school history a year ago. He earned First-Team All-America and All-SEC honors in leading the Bulldogs to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship. McCoy set the single-season scoring average (70.08), matched the single-season record with four victories, and became the first Bulldog in school history to win three straight tournaments. He appeared in three professional events this summer – the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship and the John Deere Classic, making the cut in the latter. McCoy also helped the U.S. win the Palmer Cup and finish second in the inaugural golf portion of the Pan Am Games.

McCoy joins George Hamer, Arnold Blum, Vinny Giles, Allen Miller, Jimmy Gabrielsen, Griff Moody, Danny Yates, Franklin Langham, Nick Cassini, Erik Compton, Brian Harman, Chris Kirk, Adam Mitchell, Harris English and Russell Henley as Bulldogs chosen for the Walker Cup. Giles, Gabrielsen and Yates also have served as U.S. captains.

6 Bulldogs Set To Play In PGA Championship

Six Bulldogs will be in action this week in the PGA Championship: Harris English, Brian Harman, Russell Henley, Kevin Kisner, Brendon Todd and Bubba Watson.

The tournament will run Thursday through Sunday at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wisc.

• Watson was the runner-up in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday. He finished at 9-under, two shots shy of Shane Lowry. Henley placed 17th at 1-under, Kisner was 37th at 3-over and Todd was 61st at 10-over.

• Hudson Swafford missed the cut in the Barracuda Championship in Nevada.

• Scott Parel will play and Bryden Macpherson is an alternate for the Web.com Tour's Price Cutter Charity Championship this week in Missouri.

• The 17th annual Bulldog Open will be held Friday, Sept. 18, and The Golf Lettermen's Four Ball will take place Friday, Oct. 2. More information, contact Denise at dsaliba@sports.uga.edu or 706-369-6066.

• On Twitter, Chris Kirk wrote this last week: "My hand is healing nicely but still a few weeks away from hitting balls. I'm hoping to be ready for @TheBarclaysGolf." Kirk has been sidelined with a broken hand since mid-July.

• Seniors Lee McCoy and Sepp Straka and sophomore Zach Healy will be playing next week in the U.S. Amateur in Illinois.








Thursday, August 6, 2015

Four Bulldogs Playing In WGC Bridgestone

Four Bulldogs will be in action this week in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio: Bubba Watson, Kevin Kisner, Brendon Todd and Russell Henley.

Hudson Swafford will tee it up in the Barracuda Championship, the PGA Tour's other event this week in Nevada.

• Swafford was 21st at 7-under to lead the Bulldogs in the Quicken Loans National. Harris English took 46th at 4-under and Erik Compton was 71st at 4-over.

• Bryden Macpherson and Scott Parel each finished 18th at 10-under in the Web.com Tour's Utah Championship.

• Macpherson and Parel will be back in action this week in the Digital Ally Open in Kansas.

• The 17th annual Bulldog Open will be held Friday, Sept. 18, and The Golf Lettermen's Four Ball will take place Friday, Oct. 2. More information, contact Denise at dsaliba@sports.uga.edu or 706-369-6066.








Friday, July 31, 2015

Cromie Rides Torrid Finish To First Win At Verdict Ridge

Michael Cromie
By Stewart Moore
eGolf Gateway Tour 

DENVER, N.C. --- As a freshman on the 2010-11 Georgia golf team, Michael Cromie played alongside the likes of future PGA TOUR stars Harris English and Russell Henley as a key member of the Bulldogs squad.

That early success gave way to two years of uncertainty before some tough love from coaches Chris Haack and Jim Douglas reignited Cromie’s game, in turn giving way to a standout senior year and the 2014 North & South Amateur title.

In his first full year on the eGolf Gateway Tour, the 23-year-old struggled early, but righted the ship with a runner-up finish at last month’s Mimosa Hills Open. That bit of resurgence sparked the talented Cromie’s proverbial A-game, which came full circle at this week’s Verdict Ridge Open, where birdies on three of his final four holes Friday afternoon delivered a 14-under total and the first win of his professional career.

Starting the day at host Verdict Ridge Country Club, Cromie sat one back of 18- and 36-hole leader Chas Narramore of Kingston, Tenn. following rounds of 68-64—132 (12-under).

Early in the final round, Cromie went through a bit of a rollercoaster with a bogey on the tough par-3 second giving way to back-to-back birdies on Nos. 3 and 4 before a three-putt bogey on the par-4 fifth dropped him down to even par on the day.

“I wasn’t hitting it great early today, so it took a while for me to get going,” said Cromie.

Narramore, a member of the Web.com Tour this year, bogeyed the second as well, but came roaring back with birdies on Nos. 6 and 9 to turn in 1-under 35 and 14-under total – at the time three shots clear of Cromie.

“I made a great up and down for par on No. 9 from long and left of the pin,” Cromie said. “At that point, I knew I was three back and that a solid back nine would put me right there.”

Cromie hit his second shot on the par-4 12th to 20 feet, converting the lengthy birdie try to move back to even par on the day and within two of Narramore.

Both players bogeyed the 14th after Narramore caught his second shot heavy and Cromie failed to convert a 5-foot par attempt.

“That putt would have put me within one. After I missed, I just told myself I could finish strong here and to just put the next drive in play and go flag hunting,” said Cromie, who birdied 16, 17 and 18 each of the first two days.

Cromie made the day’s only birdie on the par-4 15th after hitting a wedge to six feet to pull within one.

A solid up-and-down on the par-5 16th from an arduous greenside bunker vaulted Cromie to 1-under on the day and 13-under par – suddenly tied for the lead with Narramore and Norway’s Andreas Halvorsen.

Halvorsen, one of the top junior players in the world as recently as one year ago, was making his first career tour start at Verdict Ridge, and was making quite the statement after turning in 6-under 30 and 12-under for the week on Friday morning.

The 18-year-old, who passed up numerous Division I scholarship offers in order to turn pro, closed in 1-under 35 for a final-round 65 and a 13-under 203 tally in the clubhouse. Halvorsen spent the final hour waiting on Narramore and Cromie to come in, hoping his best for a playoff.

After the day’s final pairing traded pars on 17, with Cromie narrowly missing a birdie putt that sat on the edge of the cup, both players found the fairway at the par-5 18th. While Narramore laid up, Cromie went for the green in two from 214 yards, with his third coming to rest in a difficult lie right of the green.

Narramore, a former Middle Tennessee State star making just his second career start on tour, hit a good wedge to 20 feet above the hole for his third, giving himself a downhill look at birdie.

Needing to hit a phenomenal flop shot for his third, Cromie delivered, pitching a wedge to a foot-and-a-half at the last for what would be a kick-in birdie.

After marking his ball, Cromie watched as Narramore’s birdie try missed, in turn leaving a mere 18 inches for the tour rookie to convert career win No. 1.

Cromie tapped in for birdie and allowed for an ear-to-ear grin, thanks to a final-round 70 and a stellar come-from-behind win at 14-under par, thanks in part to birdies on three of his last four holes.

“It feels good to be in contention. I struggled early this year, but the turning point was at Mimosa Hills where I got the juices flowing again,” said Cromie, who earned $11,000 for the victory. “I remembered why we play this game, which is to get the going nerves early and just embrace it. Last night, just thinking about today, I was loving the idea of being nervous.”

Cromie starred on the junior stage, winning the North & South Junior and earning a scholarship to NCAA powerhouse Georgia, where he moved right into the lineup alongside the likes of English, Henley and Hudson Swafford.

For two years thereafter, the struggles of golf and health set in.

“I was kind of lost after my freshman year. I injured my wrist my junior year and wasn’t able to come back in the spring the way I wanted to,” he said. “At that point, I knew I needed a plan to get ready for my senior year and eventually pro golf.”

Tough love from Haack and Douglas allowed Cromie to enjoy a stellar senior campaign, as the renowned college coaches convinced him to worry about nothing but winning while playing with a little more toughness.

“They had been beating it into me since I got there that no one cares who finishes second, people only care who wins,” he said. “Just man up and hit the shots.”

A 71.93 scoring average and a win at the Linger Longer Invitational gave way to a summer of amateur golf in 2014, where Cromie became the first player in history to win the North & South Amateur after previously claiming the junior title.

Cromie turned professional and set out for the eGolf Gateway Tour, where reality bit once again – this time in the form of four missed cuts to open his year.

“I texted Coach Douglas when I was struggling to ask him what I was doing last year that worked,” Cromie said. “He said, ‘You played to win. You played with no fear.’”

Douglas’ advice paid dividends for Cromie, helping the first-year player to five top-25s over his next eight starts – including the runner-up at Mimosa Hills and the win at Verdict Ridge.

“I think that attitude adjustment of playing to win – not to make cuts – helped me a lot,” he said. “I think that attitude and mindset change really made the last few months possible.”

Monday, July 27, 2015

Watson Comes In Second In Canadian Open

Bubba Watson paced the Bulldogs in the RBC Canadian Open as he finished second -- just one shot back of Jason Day -- at 16-under. Watson birdied the last four holes and five of his last six to make a run at the title. Erik Compton took 11th at 11-under, while Brian Harman was 34th at 8-under and Hudson Swafford was 72nd at 1-under.

• Erik Compton, Harris English and Hudson Swafford are slated to play this week in the Quicken Loans National in Virginia.

• Scott Parel is in the field and Bryden Macpherson is listed as an alternate for the Web.com Tour's Utah Championship.




Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Todd Paces Bulldogs In The Open

Brendon Todd was the top Bulldog at The Open as he finished at 9-under 279, mainly due to his 3-under 69 and 6-under 66 in the final two rounds. Russell Henley came in 20th at 3-under 281 and Harris English took 68th at 3-over 287. Brian Harman, Kevin Kisner and Bubba Watson missed the cut.

• Erik Compton placed 39th in the Barbasol Championship at 6-under 278. Ryuji Imada missed the cut.

• Erik Compton, Brian Harman, Hudson Swafford and Bubba Watson will be in action this week in the RBC Canadian Open.

•  Georgia golfers Lee McCoy and Manuela Carbajo Ré earned medals in the mixed team portion of the Pan Am Games at Angus Glen Golf Club. McCoy, a rising senior for the Bulldogs, led the Americans to a 4-day total of 24-under 552 to take second behind Colombia’s 27-under 549. Carbajo Ré, also a rising senior for the Georgia women’s team, helped Argentina come in third at 10-under 566. Individually, McCoy came in fourth at 10-under 278. He carded rounds of 70, 68, 69 and 71. Amira Alexander and Carbajo Ré finished 11th and 14th, respectively. Alexander closed with an even-par 72 on Sunday, while Carbajo Ré carded an 9-over 81. Alexander finished at 15-over 303. Carbajo Ré played the first 54 holes at a combined 8-over before completing the tournament at 17-over 305. This was the first time golf has been a sport at the Pan Am Games. Golf will make its Olympic debut at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

• Freshman David Mackey is playing this week in the U.S. Junior Amateur at Colleton River Plantation Club in Bluffton, S.C.

• Senior Sepp Straka and sophomore Zach Healy qualified for the U.S. Amateur, which will be held at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club, Aug. 17-23, 2015. Straka came in second and Healy was third in the qualifier at Horseshoe Bend Country Club in Roswell. Healy is having a good summer as he also came in fourth in the Georgia Am and fifth in the Dogwood Am.