CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (May 18, 2008)--Led by co-medalist Russell Henley, the top-seeded Georgia men’s golf team won the NCAA East Regional on Saturday to qualify for the NCAA Championship.
The Bulldogs finished the East Regional at Council Fire Golf Club with a score of 41-under-par 811, including a 9-under 284 on Saturday, to take a 21-shot win over Augusta State. Henley wound up at 13-under 200, including a 5-under 66 in the final round, to share co-medalist honors with UAB’s Zach Sucher.
The NCAA Championship will take place May 28-31 in West LaFayette, Ind. The Bulldogs, who won national titles in 1999 and 2005, will be making their 11th straight appearance at the NCAAs.
“I’m pretty happy with the way I played and with the way the whole team played,” Henley said. “Our main goal was to come up here and qualify for the NCAAs. We didn’t even worry about scores, but I don’t think anybody envisioned us going 41-under. That’s exciting for all of us, and we can’t wait to try and keep it going at the NCAAs.”
Georgia’s 811 figure is the lowest in school history, while the 41-under total is second in Georgia annals. In posting his first career victory, Henley’s tally of 200 is second-best in school history and his 13-under figure ranks fourth. Henley is Georgia’s third medalist at the NCAA East Regional, joining Michael Morrison (2000) and Brendon Todd (2007).
Also in the final round, Harris English fired a 4-under 67, and Adam Mitchell and Brian Harman each posted an even-par 71. Hudson Swafford had the Bulldogs’ non-counting score of 6-over 77. English, a graduate of Chattanooga’s Baylor School, placed sixth at 7-under 206. Mitchell, who prepped at The McCallie School in Chattanooga, came in eighth at 6-under 207. Swafford placed 23rd at 3-under 210 and Harman took 29th at 2-under 211.
“It was very satisfying to me to watch our guys play the way they did all weekend,” Georgia coach Chris Haack said. “The first day was amazing, but even after that, they stayed dialed in and didn’t relax or coast. That’s the way you want your team to be playing this time of year.”
The Bulldogs won the East Regional for the second straight season. Georgia also notched its third tournament victory of the year, adding to its wins at the Brickyard Championship and Isleworth Invitational in the fall.