Three men’s teams await NCAA regional destinations

Georgia during the second round of the SEC Championship at Sea Island Golf Club on St. Simons Island, Ga., on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)
Georgia during the second round of the SEC Championship at Sea Island Golf Club on St. Simons Island, Ga., on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

Credit: Steven Colquitt

Credit: Steven Colquitt

Georgia and Georgia Tech fell short of winning their conference championships, but both will receive a spot in the postseason. Georgia Southern earned an automatic berth when it won the Sun Belt Conference. All three will learn their next destination when the NCAA announces its regional golf assignments Wednesday.

Georgia won the stroke-play portion of the SEC Championship at Sea Island, but were beaten 3-2 by Texas A&M in the quarterfinals. The deciding match lasted 22 holes.

“We’re disappointed in this outcome, but we performed well in stroke play, and we were literally one putt away in match play,” Georgia coach Chris Haack said. “There’s still a lot of golf left to be played. We’ll take the pros and cons of this tournament and use them to prepare for the rest of the postseason.”

Arkansas defeated Vanderbilt 3-2 in the final match.

Tech tied for fifth at the ACC Championship at Capital City’s Crabapple Course in Milton. The Yellow Jackets were in fourth place coming to the 18th hole, but two players made bogeys there, and Tech did not qualify for match play.

“We made a great run and gave ourselves a real chance,” Tech coach Bruce Heppler said. “It’s obviously disappointing, but these guys have come a long way.”

Clemson won the ACC title by beating Florida State 3-2 in the final. Legendary Clemson coach Larry Penley is retiring at the end of the season, his 38th.

Junior Ben Carr was the stroke-play medalist and helped Georgia Southern win its second Sun Belt title. The Eagles beat Little Rock 3-1-1 in the championship match. Carr, Jake Maples and Mason Williams each won their matches, and Brett Barron’s match was tied when the Eagles clinched the title. Georgia Southern defeated Coastal Carolina 4-0-1 in the semifinals.

The regional tournaments will be May 17-19, with the top five teams moving on to the national championships May 28-June 2 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Tardy wins first professional event

Former Georgia standout Bailey Tardy got her first professional win at the Symetra Tour’s Copper Rock Championship in Hurricane, Utah. The Peachtree Corners native and Atlanta Athletic Club product had a piece of the lead all week and finished with a three-shot win.

Tardy was named the 2020 Symetra Rising Star after she had four top-10 finishes. She missed earning her 2021 LPGA Tour card by $343, which caused her to take time off and get re-focused after the disappointment.

“After the Tour Championship I was kind of heartbroken,” she said. “I took a six-week break from Thanksgiving to January. I just needed to reset. Every time I went to the golf course I was thinking about shots I should have or have hit differently or putts I could have made and I wasn’t get much practice done.

“I took that time to focus on myself and my mental game and how to better prepare myself for the 2021 season, and I think I have done a pretty good job.”

Tardy was a two-time All-American and the SEC Freshman of the Year at Georgia. He was a member of the 2016 Curtis Cup team. She is finally healthy after a 2017 wrist injury that nearly ended her playing career.

Georgia, Kennesaw State women advance to NCAA

The University of Georgia and Kennesaw State women learned their destinations for the NCAA regionals, where the top six teams will qualify for the NCAA Championship.

No. 10-ranked Georgia will be the No. 5 seed at the Columbus Regional, May 10-12, at Ohio State’s Scarlett Course. Duke is the top seed there. The Bulldogs, ranked 18th by Golfstat, finished last at the SEC Championships.

“For me there’s no change in my mindset,” said Georgia’s Jenny Bae, who tied for 10th at the conference tournament. “I just need to go in there as a golfer and play my best, no matter which teams I’m competing against.”

Kennesaw State will be the No. 15 seed at the Baton Rouge Regional conducted at the University Club. The Owls earned the automatic bid after winning the ASUN conference championship.

Skinner earns spot in PGA Championship

PGA life member Sonny Skinner from Sylvester shot an even-par 288 at the PGA Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and prevailed in a playoff to earn a spot in next month’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. Skinner tied for 17th and was one of four players to emerge from the five-way playoff to determine the 20 exemptions for the PGA Championship.

It will be the fourth trip to the PGA Championship for Skinner, a Georgia Golf Hall of Famer who also qualified in 2008, 2010 and 2013.

Hayes, Mosley win Georgia Four-Ball Championship

Matthew Hayes of Marietta and Rusty Mosley of Vidalia needed only one playoff hole to win the 49th Georgia Four-Ball Championship at The Landings Club – Deer Creek in Savannah.

Hayes and Mosley were tied with the Athens team of Keith Guest and Kyle Stiles at 18-under 162.

Finishing third at 17 under was the duo of Stan Gann of Warner Robins and Travis Steed of Macon. Steed partnered with Ryan Emory to win the Georgia Four-Ball Tournament last month at Sea Palms. Tying for fourth at 15 under were the team of Nick Cassini of Brookhaven and West Streib of Duluth and the side of Erik Martin of Alpharetta and Stephen Behr of Atlanta.

Miscellaneous

Jim Furyk and Darren Clarke are the latest major champions who have committed to play in the Mitsubishi Electric Classic at TPC Sugarloaf on May 10-16. … University of Georgia commit Maxwell Ford of Peachtree Corners was second in the Terra Cotta Invitational in Naples, Fla. Ford finished at even par in the 54-hole event that drew some of the nation’s top amateurs and mid-amateurs. …The fifth annual Tony Honduras Outreach Golf Classic will be Monday at TPC Sugarloaf. The event benefits an organization that provides food, education and medical care to one of the world’s poorest nations. Among this year’s list of celebrity participants are Vince Dooley, Matt Stinchcomb, David Greene, Dave Archer, Buck Belue, Aaron Murray, Brad Nessler, Rex Robinson, DJ Shockley, Danny Wuerffel and Eric Zeier.

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