Georgia Golf wins SEC Title

ST. SIMONS ISLAND — The No. 1-ranked Georgia men's golf team claimed another SEC Championship on Sunday at Sea Island Golf Club, holding off No. 3 Florida by a single stroke.

"That was way too stressful," said Georgia coach Chris Haack, whose team wound up at 13-under 827, including an 11-under 269 in the final round. "We knew it was going to be a battle with them, and that's as close as it gets. Florida got out of the gate quickly, we crept back into it and then it was just a slugfest. It's fortunate that we came out on top."

The conference title is the 26th in Georgia's storied history. Haack has led the Bulldogs to five championships, including the 2001, 2004 and 2006 crowns at Sea Island.

"It feels great to win another one," senior Richard Scott said. "It's a good feeling to have another team championship with all these guys."

The Bulldogs placed four golfers in the top seven, including individual runner-up Brian Harman. The freshman from nearby Savannah closed with a 4-under 66 to end up at 4-under 206, one shot behind the Gators' Brett Stegmaier. Harman closed the tournament by slamming a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 18.

"For my first SECs, this was great experience," said Harman, a leading candidate for SEC Freshman of the Year honors. "There are so many talented golfers in this conference, so I'm proud to finish in second place."

Junior Chris Kirk tied for third at 3-under 207, including a 3-under 67 on Sunday. Senior Kevin Kisner wound up tied for fifth at 2-under 208 following an even-par 70, while Scott tied for seventh at 1-under 209 after his 4-under 66. Junior Brendon Todd closed out the Bulldogs' lineup at 4-over 74 on Sunday and 6-over 216 for the tournament, good enough for a tie for 22nd.

The Bulldogs will return to action May 14-15 at the inaugural Linger Longer Invitational in Greensboro. Georgia then will play in an NCAA Regional May 18-20, likely the East Regional near Orlando. If Georgia advances from the regional as one of the top 10 teams, it will compete May 31-June 3 at the NCAA Championship in Sunriver, Ore. The Bulldogs are the defending NCAA champion.

"If we play the rest of the way how we played today, we'll be hard to beat," Kisner said. "This is a talented bunch of guys and we all want to win every time we compete. It feels great to win the SEC again and hopefully we're not done just yet."


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