Men's Golf Team
When last we left the male Athenians, they were ranked #13 in the country after a successful Autumn campaign. They promptly flew across the border to Mexico, and came away with a win at the Querencia Cabo Intercollegiate. The tourney was highlighted by a cumulative team total of 15 under par in the second round. Senior Lee McCoy was one shot shy of low medalist (individual), while UGA was clear of 2nd place by a full 10 shots. McCoy was honored with SEC Golfer of the Week.
McCoy wasn't satisfied with that alone, and as a result of some diligence, was given a sponsor's exemption to the PGA Tour's Valspar Championship in Tampa. Not only did McCoy make the cut, he finished solo 4th on a tough track and with some of the world's best alongside (well, alongside until they fell behind).
He drove back to Athens overnight, arriving at 4:00 am for an 8:00 am tournament at Athens Country Club. The one day Southern Intercollegiate Championships is a 14 team, 36 hole event with the likes of Arkansas, Augusta State, Furman, and Stetson among others. This time junior Greyson Sigg stepped up with co-medalist honors, and UGA had four golfers in the top 7. As you would expect from those contributions, Georgia won the tourney overall with a 20 under cumulative score and 3 shots better than 2nd place Arkansas.
The old adage "strike while the iron is hot" proved true, as the Bulldogs only had a few days off before heading south to Greensboro, GA and Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee. Thirteen teams competed in the "Linger Longer Invitational" (only in Putnam County) including 4 in the national top 25. The Bulldogs stormed from behind in the final round with senior Sepp Straka shooting a career low 65, the third lowest score in school history. And while the team vaulted to 2nd place behind Alabama in the final standings, Lee McCoy defended his individual title and took home medalist honors again. This is his 6th win in his school career, only 1 behind the school record shared by current PGA Tour members Chris Kirk and Russell Henley.
Coach Chris Haack gets to rest his boys, as they have 2 weeks until their next action at the 3M Augusta Invitational (t the week before the Masters at Forest Hills CC). But they have moved up to #3 in the nation, just percentage points behind #1 Southern Cal and #2 Texas.
Women's Golf Team
Hey Ladies!!! (cue Beastie Boys). Coach Josh Brewer had the #5 ranked Lady Dawgs cooking, but the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate on Hilton Head wasn't their best showing. A very slow start put the Bulldogs behind, and even a valiant final round couldn't move them past their eventual 7th place finish. But there was competition too, in the form of Alabama, UVA, UNC, Duke, Arkansas, and Okie State, so no shame in their result. Junior Harang Lee and freshman Bailey Tardy once again paced the team.
Speaking of Tardy, her sensational first collegiate season was reason enough to be honored by the Georgia House of Representatives. The Norcross High product has finished in the top 20 individually in all seven tournaments, and has five top 10s, enough to place her #8 in the women's world amateur golf rankings.
After Hilton Head, a bounceback was called for, and duly dialed up by Brewer's squad. Playing the Mountain View Collegiate in Tuscon, AZ, Georgia stormed out of the gates and came home with a wire-to-wire win, 5 shots better than the closest competitor. Not only did Georgia take the team title (4th title of the season), but freshman Jillian Hollis also led start--to-finish individually, and captured her first medalist honors (3rd medalist for the team, all by freshman). And her 66 was one shot shy of an individual school record.
These accomplishments resulted in Hollis being named SEC Golfer of the Week, and Tardy to receive SEC Freshman of the Week. And the Women's team is now ranked #7 in the nation.
Congrats to all the teams, coaches and players on upholding our new motto (trademarked by Mr. Sanchez)... Country Club U, y'all.And GO 'DAWGS!!!!