ATHENS — The Georgia men’s golf team is back where it belongs — in the NCAA Championships — and the Bulldogs have Davis Thompson to thank for that, mostly.
Georgia’s star player lived up to his reputation this week by carding a 54-hole score of 14-under-par 850 to win medalist honors in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional. Thompson’s 68 on Wednesday led the Bulldogs to a No. 2 finish as a team behind host Florida State and advances them to the NCAA Championship for the 23rd time.
“The main goal this week was making it to nationals,” said Thompson, who was named the SEC Player of the Year earlier this week. “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.”
It was the fourth career victory for Thompson, including two in NCAA regionals. He won the NCAA Athens Regional in 2019.
Thompson joined Russell Henley as a two-time regional medalist. The Bulldogs also have gotten individual regional victories from Michael Morrison (2000), Brendon Todd (2007) and Greyson Sigg (2016).
The top five teams in each regional advance to the NCAA Championships, which are at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., May 28-June 2. Also advancing from Tallahassee was Georgia Tech, Liberty, and TCU.
“I am so incredibly proud of this team,” Georgia 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 consecutive year and for the 31st time in 32 seasons (excluding 2020 as the postseason was cancelled because of the pandemic) since the format was introduced in 1988-89.
While Thompson accounted for 82 percent of his team’s strokes under par, he did get some help. Junior Trent Phillips 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.
Their third-round team score of 280 (8 under) boosted the Bulldogs from fourth to second on the final day. FSU ran away with the team title at 34 under.
Georgia’s 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.
“This tournament is the most stressful tournament in college golf,” said Thompson, whose father Todd Thompson was Georgia golf’s team captain in 1987-88. “I’m proud of the way we settled down and played really well today.”
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