Georgia’s NCAA fate left up to men’s golf, track and baseball

Georgia's Matthew Boling will lead the track and field team beginning Wednesday at the NCAA East Prelims. (Photo by Reed Jones/UGA Athletics)

Credit: Reed Jones

Combined ShapeCaption
Georgia's Matthew Boling will lead the track and field team beginning Wednesday at the NCAA East Prelims. (Photo by Reed Jones/UGA Athletics)

Credit: Reed Jones

ATHENS — Another season came to an end Tuesday.

The Georgia women’s golf team saw its 2022 campaign flame out after an exciting run in the NCAA Championships. Coach Josh Brewer’s squad dropped a 3-2 decision to No. 1 Stanford in the quarterfinals of match play at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“We fought,” Brewer said. “I mean, it’s the No. 1 team in the country. We had a chance all the way down to the end. We’re disappointed. We feel like we had a chance to win and should be playing again. … At the same time, to be here and get into the match play for the first time is just another steppingstone for the program. We’ve just got to build on it and take a bunch of positives from it from the week.”

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Juniors Caterina Don and Candice Mahe earned points for Georgia. UGA golfers led their Cardinal counterparts in two of the other matches, and the fifth match was tied for seven of 17 holes.

The match-play loss ended what had been an electrifying week out West for the Bulldogs. Entering the 2022 championships, only three Georgia golfers had ever posted a score in the 60s at the NCAA finals site: Vicki Goetze, Shauna Estes and Summer Sirmons. Jenny Bae and Mahe became the fourth and fifth this week in Scottsdale. Mahe shot 69 on Saturday and a career-low 68 on Monday. Bae posted a 5-under 67 on Sunday.

With the Lady Dogs’ run ended, they pass the putter to the Georgia men’s golf team. Coach Chris Haack’s golfers begin play in the NCAA’s championship round Friday at Grayhawk. They advanced this year with a fourth-place finish in the Bryan (Texas) Regional last week.

“Extending your season and having the opportunity to compete for a national title is always meaningful,” Haack said. “I am so proud of our guys. … Our goal all year has been to play for the national championship, and now we have that chance.”

On Wednesday, the men’s and women’s track and field teams begin NCAA postseason competition at the East Prelims on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, Ind. The men’s team, led by world-famous sprinter Matthew Boling, goes in ranked No. 2, while the women are ranked No. 22.

The NCAA West prelims will run simultaneously in Fayetteville, Ark. The top 12 in each event from both regions will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 8-11.

Meanwhile, Georgia baseball lost to Alabama 5-3 on Tuesday in the first round of the SEC Tournament. The Diamond Dogs (35-21) now must await the NCAA selection committee’s decision Monday to find out if their season will be extended. They’re expected to receive a bid for the third time in the last four NCAA tourneys. However, Georgia is not expected to host.

Athletic director Josh Brooks is hoping for deep NCAA runs by all of Georgia’s remaining teams. In the most recent Learfield Director’s Cup standings, which were posted in early April, the Bulldogs were in 26th place nationally. That ranked seventh among SEC teams, with Kentucky leading the way in the league at ninth.

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