UGA’s Thompson nails down early Walker Cup spot

Two-time All-American selection Davis Thompson of the University of Georgia was an early selection to the U.S. Walker Cup team.
Two-time All-American selection Davis Thompson of the University of Georgia was an early selection to the U.S. Walker Cup team.

Credit: University of Georgia

Credit: University of Georgia

Davis Thompson can check an important box off his list of goals for 2021. He has now secured a spot on the United States team that will compete in the Walker Cup, one of the ultimate accomplishments for amateur golfers.

As one of the three highest-ranked American players – Thompson is No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking behind Japan’s Keita Nakajima – he earned an automatic exemption onto the team. He will be joined by Ricky Castillo of Florida and John Pak of Florida State, as well as Georgia Tech grad Tyler Strafaci, the 2020 U.S. Amateur champion.

“It means a lot,” Thompson said. “Just to represent my country and play in a tournament only a few select have. … I’m very grateful. I worked hard to achieve that goal, so it means a lot to me.”

He will be the 17th Georgia Bulldogs player to compete in the Walker Cup, which will be held May 8-9 at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla. The last Bulldog to make the team was Lee McCoy in 2015.

Thompson tied for second last week at the Jones Cup at Ocean Forest, an event which draws an elite amateur field. He won the tournament last year. It was his first competition since the Arnold Palmer Cup in December.

“Anytime I can put myself in contention, that’s my goal every week … to have a chance on the back nine on the last round, and I had that opportunity, and they just didn’t fall,” he said. “I’m pleased with my consistency.”

Thompson, a two-time All-American selection, will lead Georgia into its spring opener this week at the Gator Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. The Bulldogs have a loaded roster with fifth-year senior Spencer Ralston, Trent Phillips and Connor Creasy, who all qualified for the U.S. Amateur last summer, and sophomore Nicolas Cassidy, who was fifth in the 2020 Georgia Amateur.

“I’m ready to get back and travel with my teammates,” Thompson said. “Hopefully we can play well and win some tournaments. It will be a fun way to end my college career. … I think we can do some damage when it comes to the postseason. Right now we’re trying to build some confidence and momentum heading into the big part of our season.”

Kennesaw’s Coffee wins second title

Kennesaw State’s Connor Coffee shot a bogey-free 65 in the final round to win the Raines Company Intercollege in Florence, S.C. Coffee, a fifth-year senior from Peachtree City, shot rounds of 65-71-65 for his second collegiate victory.

Kennesaw State produced the low round of the week, but came up one shot short of winning, behind Middle Tennessee. The Owls shot 16-under 272 the last day and finished at minus-29 – both school records. Brock Healy finished sixth and Preston Topper tied for seventh.

Georgia State finished fourth at 15 under. Ashton Poole and Maxence Mugnier tied for seventh. …

Around the campus

The University of Georgia women finished third in the spring opener at the LTWF Heroes Intercollegiate in Sarasota, Fla. Caterina Don broke the school’s single-round scoring record with a 64 in the second round and wound up tied for third. …

Former Georgia Southwestern standout Vincent Norrman, now a grad transfer at Florida State, moved up to No. 11 in the world ranking when he won the Timuquana Collegiate. He was the 2020 Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year for Division II and competed in the Palmer Cup.

Anderson to assume GSGA presidency

The Georgia State Golf Association will have its annual meeting via Zoom on Saturday. The event will feature the induction of Charlie Anderson as president. Anderson, a member at the Atlanta Athletic Club, is a longtime volunteer and board member who served as co-chair – along with former GSGA president Glenn Cornell – for the 2014 U.S. Amateur Championship. Ralph Stokes, director of partnership marketing for the PGA Tour Superstore, also is expected to be approved as president-elect, which means he would be on target to become the organization’s first Black president in 2023.

Miscellaneous

Former Georgia PGA president Jim Arendt, the PGA professional at Bull Creek Golf course, picked up another honor. The mayor of Columbus designed Feb. 9 as “Jim Arendt Day” for his dedication to helping injured veterans recover through golf. Last month Arendt received the Georgia PGA’s Patriot Award.

In Other News