Tuesday April 23rd, 2024 10:17AM

Dogs sit 16th after 2nd round of NCAAs

By Georgia Sports Communications

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Georgia men's golf team improved to 16th on Saturday in the NCAA Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club.

Playing the par-70, 7,289-yard layout, the Bulldogs registered a 9-over 289 to move to 21-over 581 for the tournament. Oklahoma State has the team lead at 6-under 554, followed by Oklahoma State at 1-under 559, and host Arizona State at 2-over 562.

Following Sunday’s round, the 30-team field will be trimmed to 15 for Monday’s final loop of stroke play. The Bulldogs are just one shot shy of the 15th spot. After Monday, the final eight will advance to match play. Georgia is currently 10 shots behind the eighth-place team.

The Bulldogs will return to the course for the third round on Sunday with tee times between 11:20 a.m. and 12:04 p.m. Georgia will be paired with SMU and Oregon State.

“We know exactly what we have to do on Sunday,” Georgia head coach Chris Haack said. “We’re in the fight that we expected with this caliber of competition. It’s time for every member of this team to step up. We can’t be three-legged or four-legged on Sunday. We need all five guys doing what they are capable of doing.”

Senior Davis Thompson paced the Bulldogs on Saturday as he carded a 2-under 68. Fifth-year player Spencer Ralston added a 2-over 72, followed by sophomore Connor Creasy at 3-over 73, and junior Trent Phillips at 6-over 76. Junior Eli Scott had Georgia’s non-counting score of 10-over 89.

“I got off to a good start today (with four birdies over the first 10 holes), then I had a hiccup on 3 (with a double bogey), but it was still a solid round,” Thompson said. “I can build on that momentum. I had it to 4-under on that course, so it can be done. As a team, we need a good day on Sunday to see where things fall. I expect us to grind it out and play well.”

Thompson is 33rd individually with a total of 3-over 143. Oklahoma State’s Bo Jin holds the lead with a score of 8-under 132, three better than Arizona State’s Ryggs Johnston and Clemson’s Turk Pettit. Creasy is 45th at 4-over 144, while Ralston is 71st at 6-over 146, Phillips is 92nd at 8-over 148, and Scott is 149th at 18-over 158.

Before Saturday’s round, Phillips and Thompson were named to the All-Southeast Region Team by PING and the Golf Coaches Association of America for the third consecutive season.

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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