The 11th-ranked Georgia men’s golf team opened the Tallahassee Regional in fifth place on Monday.
Playing the Seminole Legacy Golf Club’s par-72, 7,505-yard layout, the second-seeded Bulldogs landed at 3-under 285. Regional host Florida State blistered its home course with a 17-under 271, followed by Georgia Tech (11-under 277), Liberty (5-under 283), and Ohio State (4-under 284).
The top five teams from each Regional will advance to the NCAA Championships May 28-June 2 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. Georgia has a 3-shot lead over Kansas and Davidson in the sixth spot. The other NCAA Regionals are being held at The Sagamore Club in Noblesville, Ind.; Championship Course at UNM in Albuquerque, N.M.; Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.; Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs, Tenn.; and Tumble Creek Golf & Country Club in Cle Elum, Wash.
Senior Davis Thompson, the SEC’s Golfer of the Year, paced the Bulldogs in the first round as he carded a 5-under 67. Thompson stands second, trailing Kieran Vincent of Liberty’s 7-under 65. Between Nos. 3 and 15, Thompson recorded an eagle and five birdies on Monday.
Thompson was followed by junior Trent Phillips — a fellow All-SEC First-Team member — in 12th at 2-under 70. Junior Eli Scott posted a 1-over 73 and fifth-year player Spencer Ralston signed for a 3-over 75. Sophomore Connor Creasy had the Bulldogs’ non-counting score of 4-over 76.
“We got off to a good start, but we gave back too many shots coming in,” Georgia coach Chris Haack said. “We will use that as a learning experience. We harp it on all the time that every shot is precious. We’ve got two more rounds to help us accomplish our goal of moving on to the nationals and we’re looking forward to them.”
On Monday, Georgia’s counters played the first seven holes in 12-under as Phillips and Scott were each 4-under and Thompson was 3-under. Then the Bulldogs registered a triple bogey and a bogey on No. 9, and they played the last six holes to 5-over, including three bogeys on 18.
Georgia will be paired with Ohio State and Kansas in the second round on Tuesday, with tee times off No. 10 set between 9:00 and 9:44 a.m.
The Bulldogs are 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 have advanced from the Regional to the NCAAs 22 times. The Bulldogs are appearing in their 24th Regional under Haack and they have moved onto the NCAAs 19 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.