The Georgia men’s golf team scored an even-par 284 in the first round of the NCAA Athens Regional tournament on Monday at the UGA Golf Course. The Bulldogs ended the day at the top of the leaderboard, with No. 4 Vanderbilt in second place, two shots behind Georgia.
The Bulldogs were led by junior Spencer Ralston and sophomore Davis Thompson, who both shot a two-under 69 for the day. Thompson’s experience on Georgia's course provided him a great deal of confidence coming into today’s round.
“I was really anxious to just get out there and play, I mean, it’s our home course and we know all the breaks and the ways the holes go, so leading up we just wanted to prepare the best we could and just go out there and play,” Thompson said.
Thompson started his round a bit slow with bogeys on the first two holes, but began to heat up and made par or better on every hole until the 11th.
Head coach Chris Haack praised the composure of his team, saying that although scoring conditions were difficult, the team played well.
“The guys just seemed to be in it," Haack said. "I haven’t looked at the scorecards yet, but from what I could see out there, the guys just seemed to have good attitudes and were just grinding."
Haack cited the preparation of his team during its week off after the SEC championships as its reason for success in today’s round.
“We know that the strength of this course is the par-threes, so we really focused on those coming into today’s round," Haack said. "We know that we can gain the most strokes by scoring well on those par-threes and I saw us play those holes well today so I was really happy about that."
The Athens Regional will have two more rounds of stroke play on Tuesday and Wednesday starting at 7:30 a.m. After the final round, the five teams with the lowest scores will advance to the NCAA championships, where the national champion will be decided.