Bulldogs' stellar season ends early
Georgia's streak of appearances in the NCAA Championships was snapped at seven when the Bulldogs finished ninth at the NCAA West Regional in Las Cruces, N.M. - one spot shy of advancing.
The unexpected end was quite shocking, considering the Bulldogs were in third place following the first and second rounds of play in New Mexico. Georgia faltered at the end of the final round, however, playing the last six holes at 9- over and missing the cut by three strokes.
"It was a very tough day," Georgia head coach Todd McCorkle said. "It's a very disappointing way for our year to end. We played under relatively good conditions, but we just struggled all day. We still had a good chance, but we didn't finish strong. We let some teams go past us late that should not have."
Georgia entered the Regional listed at No. 2 and No. 5 in the Golfstat and Golfweek national rankings. It also marked the first time the Bulldogs failed to reach the NCAA Championships since 1997. Between 1998-2004, Georgia recorded six top-10 finishes at the NCAAs, including winning the 2001 national championship.
Despite the disappointing end to this season, the Bulldogs are expected to remain one of the nation's top-five teams during 2005-06. Nicholls, a two-time All- SEC performer, is the lone senior on the Georgia roster, and the Bulldogs will welcome one of the nation's top recruiting classes this fall.
"I hope we can learn from our mistakes," McCorkle said. "I think the girls are so devastated right now. We've got to find a way within ourselves to be excited about going out and playing golf again."
Georgia notches five wins in '04-05
The Bulldogs captured two team and three individual championships during the 2004-05 campaign.
Kelly Froelich won medalist honors at both the Dick McGuire Invitational in September and the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in March, leading Georgia to team victories in each event as well.
Jackie Beers won the individual crown at the Mason Rudolph Championship in October, posting birdies on three of the final five holes en route to a career-best 68 in the final round.
McCorkle headlines SEC honors
Todd McCorkle was selected as the 2005 SEC Coach of the Year in balloting of league coaches.
In addition, Georgia's Kelly Froelich, Whitney Wade and Natalia Nicholls were named All-SEC. Froelich and Wade both were tabbed first-team All-SEC, while Nicholls was a second-team selection.
This marked the second straight season Froelich, Nicholls and Wade have received All-SEC recognition. In addition, Froelich also was tabbed second-team All- SEC as a freshman in 2003.
Bulldogs oh so close to SEC title
Georgia fell just short of claiming its 11th SEC Championship all-time.
After trailing Auburn by as many as a dozen strokes early in the final round, the Bulldogs rallied furiously to surge past the Tigers with two to play but eventually wound up tied following 54 holes.
Georgia and Auburn squared off in the first-ever team playoff in SEC Championships history where the Tigers won the league title on the second sudden-death playoff hole.
Georgia rewrites its own history
The 2004-05 Bulldogs produced some of the best team and individual rounds and tournament results in the program's illustrious history as outlined below.
UGA's Best Team Rounds
|1.||278||'88 SEC Championships||2nd|
|6.||284||'05 Bryan National||1st|
|8.||286||'04 NCAA Preview||1st|
|9.||287||'04 Dick McGuire||1st|
|UGA's Best Team Tournament Scores|
|1.||864||'88 SEC Championships|
|6.||872||'04 Lady Paladin Invitational|
|872||'04 NCAA Preview|
|10.||874||'04 Dick McGuire Invitational|
|UGA's Best Individual Rounds|
|1.||65||Vicki Goetze||'92 NCAAs||4th|
|9.||68||W. Wade||'05 SECs||3rd|
|68||J. Beers||'04 Mason Rudolph||3rd|
|68||A. Martin||'04 NCAA Preview||1st|
|68||K. Froelich||'04 D. McGuire||3rd|
|68||K. Froelich||'04 D. McGuire||1st|
|UGA's Best Individual Tournaments|
|1.||-11||Reilley Rankin, '98 Liz Murphey|
|2.||-10||Kelly Froelich, '04 Dick McGuire|
|10.||-4||Jackie Beers, '04 Mason Rudolph|
Froelich three-time SEC GOW honoree
Kelly Froelich was thrice named the SEC Golfer of the Week in 2004-05, becoming just the second player to do so.
Froelich was selected on Sept. 23, Oct. 26 and March 29. In 2003-04, Vanderbilt's May Wood was the first golfer to be a three-time honoree.