May 21, 2011
ERIE, Colo. --- The 12th-ranked Georgia men’s golf team punched its ticket to the NCAA Championship by placing fourth in the NCAA Colorado Regional on Saturday.
Georgia and Arizona State finished tied for fourth, meaning those teams snagged the final spots from the regional for the NCAAs, which will be held May 31-June 5 in Stillwater, Okla. Also advancing from the regional were Oklahoma State, Colorado State and Northwestern. Georgia and Arizona State finished one stroke ahead of TCU.
“I’ve always said this is the most nerve-racking tournament we play, and this result shows why,” Georgia coach Chris Haack said. “You had nine teams with a legitimate shot at the five spots, and there was no room for error. I am proud of the way our guys got up off the mat after the first day and got us back to the NCAAs. We are excited about the opportunity to play again for the national championship.”
On Saturday, the Bulldogs carded a 1-under 287 to finish at 7-under 857. Georgia’s critical round came on Friday when it posted a 12-under 276, an 18-stroke improvement over the first day. Top-ranked and top-seeded Oklahoma State won the regional at 31-under 833.
Senior Harris English paced the Bulldogs in the final round with a 4-under 68 as he wound up at 6-under 210. English came in fourth, four shots behind Oklahoma State’s Kevin Tway.
Seniors Russell Henley and Hudson Swafford each shot an even-par 72 on Saturday, followed by sophomore T.J. Mitchell at 3-over 75 and sophomore Bryden Macpherson at 4-over 76. Mitchell came in ninth at 4-under 212, Henley placed 15th at 2-under 214, Swafford closed at 5-over 221 and Macpherson finished at 11-over 227.
The NCAAs will begin on Tuesday, May 31, in Stillwater, Okla. The 30 teams in the field will play 54 holes of stroke play, which will determine the individual champion. The top eight teams then will move on to match play to ultimately crown the team champion. Georgia won national titles in 1999 and 2005.