With tournament medalist Davis Thompson leading the way, the 11th-ranked Georgia men’s golf team qualified for the NCAA Championships on Wednesday by placing second in the Tallahassee Regional.
On the Seminole Legacy Golf Club’s par-72, 7,505-yard layout, the second-seeded Bulldogs landed at 8-under 280 in the final round to wind up at 17-under 847 for the tournament.
The top five finishers from the Regional advanced to the NCAA Championships May 28-June 2 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Bulldogs opened the day on Wednesday in fourth.
The Bulldogs were joined by Florida State (34-under 830), Georgia Tech (16-under 848), Liberty (15-under 849), and TCU (9-under 855).
“I am so incredibly proud of this team,” Georgia head coach Chris Haack said. “We knew this was going to be a battle and we came ready to play each day. With our season on the line, we improved our scores and our place every round — and that’s what you expect from a veteran team. They never blinked; they played solid golf all week.”
The Bulldogs were playing in a Regional for the 25th straight year and for the 31st time in 32 seasons (excluding 2020 as the postseason was cancelled due to the pandemic) since the format was introduced in 1988-89. The Bulldogs now have advanced from the Regional to the NCAAs 23 times. The Bulldogs were appearing in their 24th Regional under Haack and they have moved onto the NCAAs 20 times, including five wins in a Regional. Haack led the Bulldogs to the 1999 and 2005 national titles, to runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2011, and to the national semifinals in 2015.
Thompson, the SEC Golfer of the Year, earned his second victory of the season and the fourth of his career (including a win in the 2019 NCAA Regional in Athens). The senior from Auburn, Ala., finished with a career-best 14-under 202, including a 4-under 68 in the final round. Thompson was one clear of Jacksonville’s Michael Sakane, who was playing as an individual.
“This tournament is the most stressful tournament in college golf,” Thompson said. “I’m proud of the way we settled down and played really well today. The main goal this week was making it to nationals. I’m happy we did that and I tried to play solid all week. It just happened that I ended up winning individually. I’m super thankful for a good week here and we are looking forward to Arizona.”
Junior Trent Phillips also posted a 4-under 68 on Wednesday, while fifth-year player Spencer Ralston registered a 1-under 71 and sophomore Connor Creasy had a 1-over 73. Junior Eli Scott had the Bulldogs’ non-counting score of 5-over 77.
Phillips came in eighth at 6-under 210. Thompson and Phillips now have 17 top-10 career finishes, matching the 10th-best figure in school history. Ralston and Creasy finished at 3-over 219, while Scott wound up at 14-over 230.
“We played a solid three days of golf and ended up getting the job done,” Ralston said. “Everyone’s game is in a great place heading into nationals, which is what you want as a team. This is a special group of guys to call my teammates. I think the reason we’ve been so successful this year, and especially as of late, is the team chemistry. The five of us enjoy being together and everyone has everyone else’s back. Having that confidence in one another allows us to go out and play stress-free golf. That’s the type of mentality you need in the postseason where it is a do-or-die situation.”