Tuesday April 23rd, 2024 11:06AM

Georgia opens NCAAs in 19th

By Georgia Sports Communications

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Georgia men's golf team stands 19th after one round of the NCAA Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club.

On Friday on the par-70, 7,289-yard layout, the Bulldogs posted a score of 12-over 292. Texas Tech grabbed the first-round lead at 4-under 276, followed by Sam Houston State at 2-under 278.

Team and individual stroke play will take place through Monday, with the field cut in half following Sunday’s round. The top eight squads following Monday’s round will advance to match play. Georgia is four shots out of 16th and six shots in back of eighth. The match play quarterfinals and semifinals are slated for Tuesday and the championship match is scheduled for Wednesday.

Sophomore Connor Creasy, making his NCAAs debut after the 2020 event was cancelled due to the pandemic, led the Bulldogs with a 1-over 71. Cole Bradley of Purdue set the individual pace with a 4-under 66. 

“We’re a confident team, and we know we still have a lot of golf in front of us,” Creasy said. “This was not the start we wanted, but we’re confident that we can move up the leaderboard. No one is pushing the panic button. Our goal is to compete for the national championship, and that goal is still right there.”

Junior Trent Phillips followed Creasy with a 2-over 72, while fifth-year player Spencer Ralston carded a 4-over 74, and senior Davis Thompson contributed a 5-over 75. Junior Eli Scott had the Bulldogs’ non-counting score of 8-over 78.

“The key to this course is patience,” said Georgia coach Chris Haack, who has guided 20 of his 25 squads to the final tournament. “You have to take what the golf course gives you. It was something of a mixed bag for us today, but we feel good about the next few days. We got beat up a little bit today, but I know our guys will come out fighting on Saturday.”

The Bulldogs will return to the course for the second round on Saturday with tee times between 10:27-11:11 a.m. EDT. Georgia once again will be paired with No. 10 and tournament host Arizona State and No. 11 Vanderbilt. Sunday's pairings will be determined by the 36-hole results.

The Golf Channel will air live coverage from Monday's final round of stroke play at 5 p.m. EDT, Tuesday's match-play quarterfinals at noon EDT, Tuesday's match-play semifinals at 5 p.m. EDT, and Wednesday's match-play finals at 5 p.m. EDT.

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