ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA (April 17, 2016) – Before the season started Georgia senior Lee McCoy said, "The sky's the limit for Georgia this season and I want to do my part to help us reach our goals of winning conference and national titles." Well step one is complete as No. 3 Georgia (853) captured the 2016 SEC Champions, their first since 2010, while McCoy led the Dogs winning individual honors. Texas A&M (856) finished second three behind.
Georgia began the day trailing Kentucky by two but played steady golf on yet another windy day at the Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course to overtake the Wildcats. The win marks the 29th SEC Championship in school history and eighth for head coach Chris Haack.
“It’s a feeling that never gets old, that’s for sure,” Georgia head coach Chris Haack said. “You never know if you’ll get another one, so I’m so happy that these boys get to experience this. It’s especially nice to see Sepp (Straka) and Lee (McCoy) close out their senior years with an SEC title. This definitely gives us a boost of confidence heading into the NCAAs that we can maybe go all the way this time.”
Lee McCoy (-3) began the round leading by one and quickly got to work extending his lead with a birdie on the first hole. It was the first of four birds on the opening nine, with his other three coming in succession on holes 6-8. After the third straight birdie McCoy had reached 6-under for the tournament and was seemingly in complete control.
However, McCoy hit his only rough patch of the tournament with a bogey on 14 followed by a double-bogey on No. 15. The difficult run brought McCoy back to the field but a final hole birdie sealed the win for 2016 Ben Hogan Semifinalist. McCoy finished with scores of 68-70-69 as he won his seventh and biggest individual title.
“The individual title means a lot, but not nearly as much as the team title,” Lee McCoy said. “We’ve never even contended since I’ve been here, so this feels incredible. To know I’ll get to leave school with a ring and that I helped the boys win an SEC Championship feels great. This is our finest moment. This is something we’ll never forget.”
Georgia also received stellar play from junior Greyson Sigg (+5) who finished T10 while sophomore Zach Healy (+8), an All-American Honorable Mention last year, was T18.
McCoy was just one of two players to finish the SEC Championship under-par. The other was second place finisher Tyler McDaniel (-1). A sophomore at Kentucky, McDaniel put together rounds of 68-72-69. Unfortunately, McDaniel was the only bright spot for the Wildcats (868) on the day. They began the day leading the tournament but struggled and ended up placing seventh.
Finishing behind McDaniels in third was Auburn junior Matt Gilchrest (E) and Florida freshman Gordon Neale (+1) in fourth. Four other's finished in a fifth place tie at 2-over.
Completing the top-5 spots in the team standings are No. 15 Florida (861) and No. 24 Arkansas (861) tied for third and 2015 champion No. 19 LSU (864) in fifth.
-Georgia athletics contributed to this story