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UGA Golf Heads Into NCAA Regionals

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2019 NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championship

After a less than stellar showing at the SEC Championships, the University of Georgia Women’s Golf Team is now heading to Columbus, OH as a #5 seed in that Regional. Of the 18 teams in each of the four regions, the top 6 will advance to the NCAA Championships at the end of May (also the top 3 individuals, if not on an advancing team).

THE Columbus Regional will be played on THE Scarlet Course of THE Ohio State’s Golf Club (there is also THE Gray Course on THE property which won’t be used). Georgia as the #18 team in the nation doesn’t have too bad a draw in this uninformed writer’s opinion. Duke is the top team in the Regional and is #2 nationally and coming off a natty in 2019 (2020 was canceled due to COVID-19). Also above UGA is #7 Arizona State, #11 Virginia, and #15 Kent State. Fellow SEC teams Vanderbilt and Kentucky will be making the trip to Ohio as well.

The tournament is slated to begin early Monday, May 10 and will run through Wednesday. Georgia will be relying heavily on Caterina Don, a top 50 ranked player, and Jenny Bae, who came in 10th in Medalist play at the SECs.

The Men’s team will also be traveling to the NCAA Regionals. After finishing the SEC tournament stroke play portion in 1st place, the ‘Dawgs were knocked out of match play by the Aggies of College Station. The first four matches were halved, and the deciding fifth match went to extra holes before Reveille pulled the upset over Uga.

That finish solidified UGA as the #11 team in the nation and a #2 seed in their Regional. The men will be heading south to Tallahassee and the Seminole Legacy Golf Club. Host team Florida State is the #2 team nationally and thus takes the top seed. Following the Bulldogs are Liberty (#16), LSU (#23), Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern, TCU, Indiana, Kansas, Southern Cal, and Ohio State rounding out the top 10.

The men get going one week later than the women, as the Regionals start May 17 and also run through Wednesday. The low 5 teams from each regional, plus the low individual not on a team, will advance to nationals. The difference here is that there are 6 regionals. Joining Tallahassee are Noblesville (IN), Stillwater (OK), Nashville, Albuquerque, and Elum (WA). Nationals will be held at the heralded Grayhawk club in Scottsdale, AZ.

I do like Georgia’s chances. We have relied on Davis Thompson (see: Walker Cup), but who wouldn’t rely on an All-American and the #8 ranked amateur? The good news is that UGA also has junior Trent Phillips, who has been steady, if not great, all season, and 5th year Spencer Ralston really rounded into form late in the season. And there are only 4 top 25 teams the boys from the Classic City have to face and that bodes well on paper. And we all know they play golf on paper. I mean, they kinda do, don’t they? The scorecard is holy and is the ultimate arbiter of who wins and who loses. It must be scored, recorded, attested, and verified by officials. The Masters has been given away thanks to an errant scorecard. Millions of dollars have been lost in the pro leagues thanks to a pencil on paper. Sandbaggers have skewered pigeons by the thousands due to astute manipulation of official paper turned in for handicaps.

Wow, that was a tangent. Sorry. Back to the main message - Georgia Bulldogs are in the post-season and somewhat control their destiny. Play good, advance, and get a shot at a natty. Perform poorly, and start looking at summer money games at your home course. I hope for the former. And as always...