May 18, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- The 24th-ranked Georgia men's golf team remained fourth on Friday in the second round of the NCAA Athens Regional being held at the UGA Golf Course.
The Bulldogs shot a 4-over 288 on the par-71 layout on Friday to move to even-par 568 for the tournament.
The top five teams after Saturday's final round will advance to the NCAA Championships May 30-June 3 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Georgia is seven shots ahead of fifth-place New Mexico and nine shots better than sixth-place North Carolina-Wilmington.
"We're still in good shape," Georgia coach Chris Haack said. "We've got to go out and play solid tomorrow and not worry about what else is going on. That's what we'll preach to the guys: Don't worry about the leaderboard. It's a game; just go out and play."
Alabama has the overall team lead at 23-under 545, including an 8-under 276 on Friday. East Carolina is second at 11-under 557 and North Florida is third at 6-under 562.
Junior T.J. Mitchell paced the Bulldogs on Friday with a 1-under 70. Mitchell began the day with a double bogey and two bogeys on his first three holes, but responded with six birdies over 13 holes. Even with a bogey on No. 18, Mitchell was pleased with his round.
"I tried to stay mentally tough," Mitchell said. "I knew there were birdies to be made, so I just hung in there and tried to stay as mentally tough as I could and fight it out. I didn't get off to the start I wanted to, but I knew I could come around. I stayed confident even though the scores weren't as good at the beginning."
"To start off the way he did and to get under par is outstanding," Haack said. "It was probably the key to our round, having him make a comeback like that."
T.J. Mitchell is sixth in the individual race at 4-under 138, five shots behind Alabama's Bobby Wyatt (133). Carter is 12th at 1-under 141, followed by Keith Mitchell in 26th at 2-over 144, Garber in 30th at 3-over 145 and Reach in 51st at 5-over 147.
The Bulldogs will tee on Saturday in 10-minute increments from 7:50 to 8:30 a.m. Georgia will be paired with New Mexico and UNC-Wilmington.
Live results and tee times for the Athens Regional can be found at golfstat.com. There is no charge for admission or parking for the event.
Alabama coach Jay Seawell: "I'm actually more proud of the way we played today than yesterday. The conditions were a lot harder. The golf had a lot of teeth today. The way we played the last 14 holes, I was proud of them. ... Bobby (Wyatt) birdieing the last three was a highlight. That was a huge factor today. ... We try to win the day. I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but if you win each day, then you do a pretty good job in tournaments. We just want them to play their best each day, and that's what we'll try to do tomorrow."
Alabama's Bobby Wyatt (the 54-hole leader): "I played pretty well today. I was pretty satisfied. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it. Our team is where want to be, but we know we can't be satisfied. We've got to keep playing well."