The Georgia Bulldogs won their NCAA Regional at Ol’ Colony in Birmingham and will be the only team from the state in the NCAA Championship, which will be played May 27-June 1 in Eugene, Ore.
The Bulldogs led after each round, shooting 4-under 284 the first day followed by back-to-back scores of 6-under 282. Georgia led South Carolina by three shots after 18 holes, by three after 36 and won by four. Alabama, Kentucky and Auburn finished 3-4-5 to give the SEC a sweep of the five berths in the NCAA Championship.
Georgia’s Greyson Sigg captured individual honors with scores of 68-71-68 for a 9-under 207 total. The junior from Augusta matched the low scores of the tournament in both the first and third rounds.
Sigg’s opening 68 was matched by Peachtree Corners sophomore Zach Healy, who tied for sixth at 212 after scores of 71-73. Healy’s third round score did not count, as the other four Georgia golfers shot par or better.
Lee McCoy, a senior from Clarkesville, and Sepp Straka, a senior from Valdosta, both tied for 17th at 217. McCoy posted scores of 75-70-72, with Straka contributing a first round 73 and a closing 70. His second round did not count, as the Bulldogs got a strong effort from Griffin freshman Tye Waller, the team’s No. 5 player, the last two rounds.
Waller matched McCoy’s second round 70 for the team’s low score of the day, and again tied McCoy in the final round with a 72.
It was Georgia’s fourth regional title since 2007, with the Bulldogs advancing to nationals for the 18th time in 20 attempts under coach Chris Haack. Georgia won NCAA titles in 1999 and 2005.
Georgia Tech, Augusta and Kennesaw State all placed sixth or seventh in their respective regionals, with the top five teams advancing to nationals from each of the six regional sites. Georgia State also failed to advance.
The Yellow Jackets tied for seventh in the Tucson Regional, four shots behind the team that finished fifth. Tech put itself in an early hole with an opening score of 297, following with totals of 288 and 282 to make a run at a top-5 showing.
Albany sophomore Jacob Joiner shot a final round 68 to tie for 17th at even par 216 along with teammates Chris Petefish and Vince Whaley, who also broke par in the third round. Petefish was low for the Jackets in the first round with a 70 and shot 71 the final day.
Tech had to count scores of 74 (Columbus sophomore James Clark), 75 (Petefish) and 78 (Joiner) the first day, but the team rebounded the next two rounds. Joiner (70), Whaley (71) and Clark (72) all shot par or better the second day, with a 75 by Petefish the high counting score.
Joiner’s 68 was low for Tech in the final round, followed by scores of 70 (Whaley), 71 (Petefish) and 73 (Clark), with Clark shooting 219 for 54 holes. Acworth junior Michael Hines struggled throughout the tournament and did not post a counting score.
Georgia State was 11th of 14 teams in the regional at 891. Alex Herrmann tied for 26th at 219, and was the only Panther to finish in the top 50. Nick Budd, a freshman from Woodstock, was low for Georgia State the first day with a 74, Herrmann shot 69 the second round, the team’s lone sub-par score for the tournament, with Budd (72) and Lexington junior Nathan Mallonee (73) leading the way the final day.
In his final appearance for the Panthers, senior J.J. Grey shot 75-74-76, with his last round not counting.
Augusta placed sixth in the Oklahoma State Regional with a 912 total, two shots behind the fifth place team. The Jaguars shot 303-309-300, hanging around the fifth position the entire tournament. Jake Marriott tied for 10th at 223, with Broc Everett T22 at 228. Scores of 71 by Marriott and 74 by Everett the first day were the team’s only scores better than 75 on the demanding Karsten Creek layout.
Emmanuel Kountakis, a junior from Augusta, had non-counting scores the first two days, but was one of four Jaguars to shoot 75 in the final round.
Kennesaw State was tied for third after one round and tied for fourth after the second day, but dropped back to seventh in the Texas A&M Regional despite shooting 17-under for the tournament. The Owls ended up five shots behind the fifth place team, posting under-par scores in all three rounds.
The Owls opened with a 283 total, led by Cumming junior Chris Guglielmo, who shot 3-under 69. Teremoana Beaucousin was next with a 70 and Fredrik Nilehn and Morganton sophomore Wyatt Larkin both added rounds of even par 72.
Kennesaw shot 9-under 279, its low score of the tournament, in the second round, but fell one spot into a tie for fourth. Guglielmo, Beaucousin and Nilehn all carded scores of 69, with Cumming freshman Jake Fendt contributing a 72. Larkin’s 73 did not count.
Fendt came up big in the final round with a 67 and Nilehn closed with a 70 to tie for 18th in the tournament at 211. Larkin added a 73, but after leading the team the first two days, Guglielmo and Beaucousin both shot 75 the final day. Guglielmo finished tied for 25th at 213.