Local golf: Georgia women begin play in SEC Championship

Jenny Bae leads the Georgia women into the SEC Championships in Birmingham.

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Jenny Bae leads the Georgia women into the SEC Championships in Birmingham.

Seniors Jenny Bae and Jo Hua Hung lead No. 27 Georgia into the SEC Women’s Championship, which runs through Sunday at Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham.

After 54 holes of stroke play, the top eight teams advance to match play. The finals will be aired live on the SEC Network from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

“It’s why you work not only for eight months, but for years and years,” Georgia coach Josh Brewer said. “This is why you do it.”

Bae leads the team with a 72.59 average, just ahead of Hung at 72.92. The starting lineup is rounded out by Caterina Don, freshman LoraLie Cowart and Candice Mahé. Bae and Don have started in each of the team’s eight tournaments.

Georgia’s most recent SEC championship came in 2007. The Bulldogs were 14th last season. The favorites are No. 3 South Carolina, No. 9 Alabama and No. 10 Florida. There are nine SEC teams ranked in the top 25.

Anthony Cordes, Jabir Bilal headline Georgia PGA reps

Anthony Cordes and Jabir Bilal lead a contingent of Georgians who will compete in the PGA’s Professional Championship at Barton Creek in Austin, Texas, on April 17-20.

Cordes, an assistant professional at Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta, won the 2021 Georgia PGA Professional Championship. Bilal, a teaching professional at Heritage Links in Tucker, won the 2021 Georgia PGA Championship.

They will be among the field of 312 professionals chasing two-time defending champion Omar Uresti in the showcase evert for club pros and teachers.

The low 20 scorers earn an exemption in the holy grail of club professionals, the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills, on May 16-22.

Other Georgians who earned a spot in the national championship were Sonny Skinner of Spring Hill Country Club in Tifton, PGA Life member Paul Claxton, Jacob Tilton from Ansley Golf Club in Atlanta and Chris Boyle from Sea Island Golf Club at St. Simons Island.

Trent Phillips named to Haskins watch list

Georgia’s Trent Phillips was one of 15 players named to the final watch list for the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to the nation’s top male college golfer.

Also making the list were Ludvig Aberg, Texas Tech; Sam Bennett, Texas A&M; Fred Biondi, Florida; Michael Brennan, Wake Forest; Pierceson Coody, Texas; Chris Gotterup, Oklahoma; Palmer Jackson, Notre Dame; Frederik Kjettrup, Florida State; Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra, Oklahoma State; RJ Manke, Washington; Logan McAllister, Oklahoma; Cole Sherwood, Vanderbilt; Cameron Sisk, Arizona State; and Michael Thorbjornsen, Stanford.

No women from Georgia made the final watch list for the Annika Award.

Two more teams qualify for Georgia State Parks Golf Cup

Two more teams have earned a spot in the championship field for the Georgia State Parks Golf Club.

The team of Jeff Pate, Jesse Riles, A.J. Pate and Colton Cox won the Georgia State Park Golf Cup qualifier at Meadow Links Golf Course at George T. Bagby State Park in Fort Gaines. The team shot a 59.

The team of Brandon Simmons, Bradley Addgy, Zach Robinson and Patrick Edwards won the qualifier at Brazell’s Creek Golf Course in Reidsville. They shot 58 to win by one shot.

Both teams earned a spot in the championship match May 21 at The Lakes at Laura S. Walker State Park in Waycross.

Qualifiers still remain at Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course in Elberton (April 16), Highland Walk Golf Course in Royston (April 23) and Georgia Veterans Memorial Golf Course in Cordele (May 7).

Each qualifying team advances to the championship, where the winners will play for an expense-paid weekend to Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris.

UCF wins rain-shortened Brickyard Collegiate

The anticipation of bad weather caused officials to shorten the Brickyard Collegiate at Brickyard Country Club in Macon on April 4-5 to 36 holes, leaving Central Florida in first at even-par 576. Mercer finished third, and Kennesaw State placed fourth.

Eujin Pyon tied for 11th at 3-over 147 to lead Mercer, and Bella Kil shot 4-over 148 to tie for 16th and pace Kennesaw State.