ATHENS — The University of Georgia men’s golf team will continue the fall portion of its season as the Bulldogs head to the Birmingham Country Club for SEC Match Play Hosted by Jerry Pate starting on Monday.
The Bulldogs lineup will consist of graduates Connor Creasy and Ben van Wyk, senior Caleb Manuel, junior Buck Brumlow and sophomore Carter Loflin.
“We’re really excited to play at the Birmingham Country Club for the first time,” head coach Chris Haack said. “It’s a real traditional, beautiful golf course with a lot of history. Having all the SEC teams down here makes this event pretty special. It obviously gives this a little more significance, as you always want to play well against your peers.”
This event marks the second of four fall competitions for Georgia, who will next participate in the Ben Hogan Collegiate hosted by TCU on Oct. 2-3. The Bulldogs will round out 2023 at the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic hosted by Hawaii on Oct. 26-28.
SEC Match Play Hosted by Jerry Pate: The event will be held at the historic Birmingham Country Club’s west course, played at 7,226 yards with a par 71. Founded in 1898, the modern version of the west course was designed by Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones and Peter Dye.
All SEC teams will compete in 54 holes of stroke play, playing 36 continuous holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday. The top two finishers after stroke play will square off in match play on Wednesday for the team title. The remaining 12 teams will face off in match-play events as well. Georgia will pair with Mississippi St. and Ole Miss on Monday.
Live Stats: https://gado.gs/awo
Sophomore Surge: In the first tournament of his second collegiate season, Carter Loflin earned the first top-five finish of his career at the Valero Texas Collegiate. He began with bogeys on holes one and four on the final day of the event but would not bogey another hole. The Duluth native finished the third round with seven birdies over the last 14 holes, moving up 13 spots on the player leaderboard to finish tied for fifth with two other golfers. This marked his best finish at an event since shooting eight-under at the Ka’anapali Classic last season, where he finished 10th.
Dawgs in the Polls: Georgia opened the season as the No. 20 team in the nation in the current edition of the Bushnell/Golfweek Coaches’ poll. In the Sagarin/Golfweek Team Collegiate Golf Rankings released on Sept. 20, the Bulldogs checked in at No. 38.
Georgia also has a trio of individuals in the PGA TOUR University Rankings, all within the top 50. Graduate van Wyk leads the team with a No. 40 ranking, fellow grad student Creasy comes in at No. 45 and senior Manuel rounds out the Dawgs in the rankings at No. 47.
Last Time Out: The Bulldogs finished their first tournament of the season, the Valero Texas Collegiate, in eighth place with a score of 11-over par. Playing at the TPC San Antonio Oaks course, Georgia shot 298-287-290 for an 875 total.
Individually, Loflin and Brumlow both carded top-10 finishes, tying for fifth and 10th respectively. Loflin posted a 75-70-67 for a 212 four-under par finish while Brumlow shot 73-70-71 to finish two-under with a 214 total.
Manuel and van Wyk both carded a five-over 221 to tie for 33rd overall. Creasy finished the event with his best round, shooting one-under 71 to conclude with a three-day final of 73-78-71 six-over 222. Graduate Beck Burnette’s first tournament as a Bulldog saw him with a score of 13-over 229.
Georgia Returns Experienced Core: The Bulldogs bring back four golfers who led the team to the NCAA Championship and six total players from the 2022-23 roster. Georgia returns veteran experience in graduates Creasy and van Wyk, senior Manuel as well as juniors Brumlow and JT Herman and sophomore Loflin. The 2023-24 Bulldogs features a plethora of proven talent, with graduate Burnette and senior George Langham joining the team as transfers. Freshman and Ponte Vedra, Fla., native Camden Smith rounds out the newcomers.
Haack Enters 28th Season: Chris Haack was named the Georgia men’s golf coach on July 18, 1996 – and he has guided the Bulldogs to their highest levels of success. Coach Haack has coached the Bulldogs to two national championships (the only two in school history), eight Southeastern Conference crowns, 68 team tournament titles, and virtually every squad and individual record.
During his 27 previous seasons leading the program, the Bulldogs have advanced out of the NCAA Regional round and into the championships 23 times. Haack has also guided the team to at least one tournament win in 23 of the 27 seasons during his time as the head coach.
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