Daily Dawg Thread: May 02, 2024

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Daily Dawg Thread: May 02, 2024

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MGOLF: UGA assigned to NCAA Austin Regional

Camden Smith (Photo: Tony Walsh/UGAAA)

The University of Georgia men’s golf team will begin its quest for its third national championship on May 13-15 at the NCAA Austin Regional, according to an announcement made Wednesday afternoon on the Golf Channel.





The Bulldogs will be the No. 4 seed for the Regional, which will be held at the University of Texas Golf Club, home of the Texas men’s and women’s golf programs. Joining the Bulldogs are No. 1 Tennessee, No. 2 Arkansas, host No. 3 Texas, No. 5 Wake Forest, No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 7 UNC-Greensboro, No. 8 BYU, No. 9 Utah, No. 10 San Jose State, No. 11 Grand Canyon, No. 12 Arkansas State and No. 13 Kansas City. 

The top five teams from each of the five regionals will advance to the 30-team NCAA Championships at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. from May 24-29. The lowest-scoring individual whose team does not advance will also earn a spot in the NCAA Championships to compete individually.

The other four regionals will take place at the University Club in Baton Rouge, La.; the UNC Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C.; The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; Stanford Golf Course in Stanford, Calif. and the Brick Boilermaker Golf Course in West Lafayette, Ind. The one seeds in those regionals were the top overall seed Auburn, North Carolina, Arizona State, Florida State and Vanderbilt respectively.





“We’ve only played there in a tournament once, but we won it, so we’ve got good vibes as we prepare to head to Austin,” said head coach Chris Haack. “It’s a great golf course – long, demanding and requires us to play really solid. We’ve put in the hard work this year and we’re excited to compete. It’s an incredibly strong field, and we will need to be at our best once we get out there.”

The Bulldogs were invited to a Regional for the 28th straight year and for the 34th time in 35 seasons (missing in 1995 and excluding 2020 as the postseason was canceled) since the format was introduced in 1988-89. The Bulldogs have advanced from the Regional to the NCAAs 25 times.

The program is headed to its 27th Regional under Haack and has moved onto the NCAAs 22 times under his leadership. Haack led the Bulldogs to the 1999 and 2005 national titles, to runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2011, and the national semifinals in 2015. Most recently, Georgia won the NCAA Bath Regional in 2023 led by Ben van Wyk’s first-place finish before finishing in 14th at the NCAA Championships in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Georgia most recently finished in the quarterfinals of match play at the SEC Championships in St Simons Island last week, falling to Arkansas by a 3-2 result. Graduates Connor Creasy and van Wyk, senior Caleb Manuel, junior Buck Brumlow and freshman Camden Smith comprised the Bulldogs’ lineup with graduate Beck Burnette serving as the team’s alternate. 

WGOLF: Caterina Don and Savannah De Bock were selected All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman

(Photo: Georgia Sports Communications)

Georgia’s Caterina Don and Savannah De Bock were selected All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman, respectively, in balloting of the league’s women’s golf coaches announced by the conference office on Wednesday.

Don, a fifth-year senior from Pinerolo, Italy, was tabbed second-team All-SEC for the third time in her career. She also was honored in 2020 and 2021. Don has enjoyed a stellar season with the Bulldogs and is currently ranked No. 29 nationally. In 12 tournaments, she has recorded three runner-up, seven top-10 and 10 top-20 individual finishes. Don leads the Bulldogs in virtually every statistical category, including stroke average (71.35), par-or-better rounds (20) and birdies (115). She has covered 34 rounds at a combined 7-under par this season.

“Caterina has had a special year,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “She’s already had an amazing senior season, and we still have two more tournaments to go. For her to be named All-SEC is a tremendous honor considering we all believe the SEC is the deepest conference in college golf both from the team and individual perspectives. Hopefully, she has a few more accolades come her way in the near future.”

De Bock, a freshman from Ecaussinnes-d’enghien, Belgium, is mid-year enrollee and ranked No. 83 nationally. Last fall, she finished fourth at the World Junior Girls Championships and compiled a 3-0 record to help Europe win the Junior Solheim Cup before joining the Bulldogs in January. In seven tournaments since arriving on campus, De Bock has compiled a 73.43 stroke average with five par-or-better tallies in 19 rounds. She has notched five top-20 performances, with a best effort of fifth place at the San Diego State Classic.

“We all knew Savannah was an elite player when we signed her,” Brewer said. “She has been able to fit in and give us a huge boost since she arrived in January. For her to be able to earn SEC All-Freshman honors in one semester is a tremendous achievement. I think the last players we had to do that were Jenny (Bae) and Jo (Hua Hung). They graduated last spring after having amazing careers at Georgia, and I’m hopeful Savannah will have similar success as a Bulldog.”

No. 23-ranked Georgia will compete in the NCAA Auburn Regional next Monday-Wednesday looking to advance to the NCAA Championships for the fourth consecutive year. There are 12 teams competing at six different Regional sites next week, with the top-5 teams from each advancing to the NCAAs on May 17-22 at the Omni Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.

The Bulldogs swept team and individual titles at the 2021 Columbus and 2023 Athens Regionals. Georgia also is attempting to finish in the top-20 at the NCAA Championships for the fourth year in a row after placing 18th in 2021, tying for fifth in 2022 and tying for 14th in 2023.

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.