Hey Ladies! The UGA Women's Golf team finished third in this past weekend's Mason Rudolph Championship in Frankin, TN. Seventeen teams entered, and the Lady Bulldogs finished behind only Alabama and Northwestern. Saturday's second round saw Coach Josh Brewer's team compile a score of 276, which is a UGA school record for one round. Harang Lee finished 4th in individual standings, while Jillian Hollis and Rinko Mitsunaga finished 7th and 8th respectively. This is a positive sign for the team, as they have been much more competitive this year and harks back to the days of Vicki Goetze and Kelly Richardson in the mid 1990's.
The men's team will be competing in Kingston, TN this weekend at the Dick's Sporting Goods Championship, while the ladies take a couple of weeks to rest up before heading to Chicago in early October. Great job by all these 'Dawgs!!
Now on to the professional ranks. This weekend is the culmination of the 2014-2015 PGA Tour season, The Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola. As you're probably aware, the Tour implemented it's own playoff system called The FedEx Cup. During the season, you get points for your finish in tournaments, with major championships and other big tourneys handing out more points. The four week playoff run starts with 150 golfers, pares it down to 120 after week 1, down to 70 after week 2, and down to the top 30 after week 3, all for the finale at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta (East Lake). This will crown the FedEx Cup Champion, hand out around $30 million in prize money, and there's the standalone tournament itself. The course has been around for a century or so, but had fallen into disrepair before some folks got smart in the 80's and revamped it. It's a Donald Ross original design, and today's version certainly has his stamp on it. Playing to par of 70 and around 7,300 yards, it will test these players quite a bit. The par 3 as a finishing hole has plenty of intrigue, as it is no gimme par, especially with the traditional Sunday pin position.
The playoffs started with nine former Bulldogs qualifying for the playoffs. We lost Erik Compton after week one when he withdrew, and lost Hudson Swafford after week two due to points. We still had seven in the field of 70 last week in Chicago (that's 10% of the field and far greater than any other school representation). But the cut to thirty for this week was costly, and Russell Henley, Chris Kirk, Brendon Todd, and Brian Harman failed to advance. Bubba Watson has been in the top 5 all along and still holds that #5 position going into this weekend. Kevin Kisner played great golf in early spring, losing in two sudden death playoffs, but continuing his solid play through the summer and is currently #18. And Harris English, who the past two years has finished 31st and 32nd and thus just missing the Tour Championship, qualified at #30 for the final playoff spot. So three of Georgia's finest will be teeing it up in the ATL for a chance to win the $1.4 million winner's check, and the $10 million FedEx Cup playoff champion check. Yep, if you win the tourney itself and then win the FedEx Cup playoffs based on points, you get over $11 million in prize money. Needless to say there's a lot on the line. But having three in the top 30 (10% of the field... again) is certainly a great accomplishment.
TV Coverage is Thursday and Friday between 1-6 pm ET on Golf Channel. If you want to skip College Gameday, tune in from 10 am -12 noon ET to Golf Channel Saturday, and then to NBC from noon-3:30 pm ET (unless you get ESPN3 or SEC Network and would rather watch Southern risk it between the hedges). Sunday coverage is noon-1:30 pm ET on Golf Channel, and 1:30-6 pm ET on NBC.
There is an international professional team competition in mid-October called The Presidents Cup, and sure enough, two Bulldogs made that squad too (Watson & Kirk). I'll be back in a couple of weeks with a preview of that one, but until that time...