The Georgia Bulldogs reached the finals of the inaugural East Lake Cup, losing 3-1-1 to Illinois after defeating defending NCAA champion LSU by the same score in the semifinals.
The tournament matched the top four men’s and women’s teams from the 2015 NCAA Championships in a match play format, with the tournament played under rainy and wet conditions. The first day was delayed four hours and play was halted by the darkness, with the event concluding shortly before dark fell on East Lake Golf Club the next day.
The key win for the Bulldogs in the victory over LSU was turned in by sophomore Zach Healy of Peachtree Corners, who won his match 1-up. Jamie Lopez-Rivarola won the opening match for Georgia 7&5 with Clarkesville sophomore Lee McCoy taking the anchor match 5&4 after leading 5-up after nine holes when play was halted the first day.
Augusta junior Greyson Sigg halved his match, with Valdosta senior Sepp Straka losing 4&3.
Straka and Rivarola both fell behind early in the title match against Illinois, losing 4&3 and 3&2 respectively. Healy birdied the difficult par-3 18th at East Lake to win his match 2-up, with the two remaining matches also closely contested.
Sigg led 3-up after 12 holes, but lost four of the next six holes to again finish 18 holes all square. He lost the first playoff hole, with McCoy halving his match behind him. Since the match was decided, McCoy and his opponent did not go extra holes.
It was the fourth win this Fall for Illinois, which came into the tournament ranked second in the country. Illinois defeated Southern Cal 4-1 in the other semifinal. Southern Cal took third place with a 4-1 win over LSU.
Southern Cal won the women’s title, defeating Baylor 4-1 in the semifinals and taking the title match over Duke by the same score. Duke defeated Stanford 4-1 in the other semifinal, with Riverdale’s Mariah Stackhouse scoring the only win for Stanford, taking her match 2&1.
Stanford, the 2015 NCAA women’s champion, won 4-0-1 in the third place match over Baylor in a rematch of last year’s finals. Stackhouse, a senior at Stanford, halved her match.