Sam Straka (right)
Oct. 7, 2012
MACON, Ga. --- The fourth-ranked Georgia men's golf team picked up its first title of the season on Sunday, winning the Sixth Annual Brickyard Collegiate Championship, and they did so without counting the scores of the tournament medalist.
Bulldogs sophomore Sam Straka, playing as an individual, finished at 8-under 208, including a course-record 8-under 64 on Sunday for his first collegiate title. Because he was an individual, his figures could not count toward the Bulldogs' team score. As it turned out, they didn't need them.
The Bulldogs shot an 8-under 280 in the final round to wind up at 16-under 848. Georgia posted a 14-shot victory over second-place Georgia Tech.
Freshman Lee McCoy paced the Bulldogs' five-man lineup on Sunday as he carded a 4-under 68. Sophomore Nicholas Reach added a 3-under 69, followed by sophomore Sepp Straka at 1-under 70 and senior T.J. Mitchell at 1-over 73. Junior Brian Carter had the Bulldogs' non-counting score of 3-over 75.
Reach placed third in the individual race at 7-under 209, trailing only co-medalists Sam Straka and Georgia State's Jonathan Grey. McCoy wound up fourth at 6-under 210, while Mitchell came in sixth at 4-under 212. Sepp Straka and Carter finished at 7-over 223.
Junior Keith Mitchell, who also played as an individual, shot a 5-under 67 Sunday to come in eighth at 3-under 213.
"This is a feeling that never gets old," said Georgia coach Chris Haack, who extended his school record with his 48th victory in his 16 seasons. "It's always sweet. I could not be prouder of our guys. To win the tournament, to have the medalist and to have five guys in the top 10 says a lot about our potential. The guys were focused and determined all weekend, and if we can continue to play with this kind of confidence, it could be a fun season."
Sam Straka recorded an eagle and nine birdies on Sunday, along with one double bogey and one bogey. He made birdie on his final hole to set the course record on The Brickyard at Riverside's par-72, 7,175-yard layout.
The Bulldogs enjoyed the same results at the inaugural Brickyard Championship in 2008 when the team claimed the trophy and medalist Harris English played as an individual.
"I'm so happy for Sam," Haack said. "He's been working so hard and he hasn't had a lot of chances this fall. It takes a special mental approach to play as an individual instead of as part of the five-man lineup, so I was pleased that he was able to do that and come out with the win. This is a real shot in the arm for him."
The Bulldogs will continue the fall portion of their schedule at the AutoTrader.com Collegiate Championship Oct. 15-16 in Atlanta.