|Joey Garber will be back in the lineup for Georgia during the Tempe Regional.|
The 16th-ranked Georgia men's golf team will compete in the Tempe (Ariz.) Regional Thursday through Saturday in an attempt to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
The Tempe Regional will be played at the ASU Karsten Golf Course. The top five teams from each of the six national regionals will advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be held May 28-June 2 at the Capital City Club's Crabapple Course in Alpharetta.
The third-seeded Bulldogs will join a field that includes UCLA, Duke, Texas A&M, Clemson, Vanderbilt, UCF, North Carolina, Arizona State, Kennesaw State, Arizona, Austin Peay, New Mexico State and Lehigh.
Georgia is making its 24th appearance since the NCAA went to the regionals format for the 1989 season and the Bulldogs have advanced to the NCAAs 16 times in the previous 23 campaigns. Under Coach Chris Haack, the Bulldogs have been invited to 17 straight regionals, moving on to the NCAAs 14 of the previous 16 seasons.
"We are definitely looking forward to playing in the Tempe Regional," Haack said. "The field is a strong one, and we'll have to be at our best to be one of the teams to advance. As usual, there is no margin for error at this time of the season. We'll have to come into this event extremely focused."
"We all know what's on the line and we all know what it takes," junior Joey Garber said. "We just have to stay patient. There are a lot of good teams in our regional and we cannot give up any strokes. We have to play solid tee to green and not throw anything away."
Haack will use a lineup of senior T.J. Mitchell, juniors Garber and Keith Mitchell, sophomore Nicholas Reach and freshman Lee McCoy. The Tempe Regional will be Garber's first action since October as he has been sidelined following shoulder surgery.
"Getting Joey back is big for us," Haack said. "He's got a lot of experience and knows what this time of year is all about. Yes, he's coming off an injury, but he's been practicing hard and competing. If what I've seen the last few weeks is any indication, he's going to give us a boost."
The three-day forecast for Tempe shows temperatures at 100 degrees on Thursday, 95 on Friday and 92 on Saturday.
"We had to pull the shorts back out," Haack said with a laugh. "We're not going to need our rain suits or our pullovers."
In other news:
• Harris English was 33rd, Bubba Watson was 37th and Chris Kirk was 55th in THE PLAYERS Championship on Sunday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Brian Harman, Russell Henley and Erik Compton missed the cut.
• The PGA TOUR stop this week is the HP Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas. Scheduled to participate are Justin Bolli, Compton, English, Harman, Ryuji Imada and Brendon Todd. Todd won the rain-shortened Stadion Classic at UGA in Athens on May 5.
• Speaking of the Web.com Tour, the BMW Charity Pro-Am Presented by SYNNEX Corporation will be played this week in Greer, S.C. Paul Claxton, Kevin Kisner, Scott Parel, Richard Scott and Hudson Swafford are in the field, with Bryden Macpherson listed as an alternate.