BRADENTON, Fla – When the horns blew at 6:28PM on Sunday canceling play due to dangerous weather conditions, the Georgia Bulldogs had advanced to the top of the leader board…and this morning, after the remaining 13 groups finished their third rounds, the University of Georgia men’s golf team remained at the top of the 2015 NCAA National Championship.
Georgia is set to tee off today at 11:10AM for the final round of the stroke play. They have a firm grip on a spot in the top 8, which advances to Tuesday’s match play and one step closer to a national title.
It has been ten years since their last NCAA victory in 2005. And now, a team that has struggled all year to play well at the same time, and currently ranked 33rd in the country, is poised to take down the top ranked teams in the country.
Georgia’s Lee McCoy doesn’t let the stage dictate the pace and style of his play. He maintains the composure of someone comfortable being the 5th ranked player in the nation and one of the top ten amateurs in the world.
According to a statement given to the NCAA, “As much golf as I play, the gravity of the event doesn’t really set in as much as you may think,” McCoy said. “It’s kind of another day at the office and it’s best to treat it that way. That being said, if we’re here on the last day and I have a putt to clinch my match, the nerves are certainly going to be there.”
The Bulldogs jettisoned into the national championship after a clutch performance from Zach Healy, who shot 67 last week at the regional championship at the Farm Golf Club in San Diego. That momentum has continued on to college golf’s biggest stage.
Lee McCoy struggled the first three rounds, stating that “it’s not a golf course that sets up really well for me.”
But despite his struggles, he exudes positive energy, with his big smile and quick wit, he jokes with the audience, including numerous Georgia fans. “Watch out for snakes over there,” he warned two innocent fans, cutting through the woods to see Lee.
“Hold on, let me tee off, then I’ll come over and talk to you.” McCoy said, right before he bombed his tee shot down the fairway, which led to a promising start: (3-under) after 7 holes, putting the bulldogs at (2-under) overall. Zach Healy, leading UGA’s efforts, will enter the fourth round in third individually at (4-under) 212, three shots in back of SMU’s Bryson Dechambeau. Mookie DeMoss is 10th at (1-under) 215, while Sepp Straka is at 6-over 222, McCoy is at 8-over 224 and Greyson Sigg is at (9-over) 225.
“But I am just so proud of the guys,” McCoy, a national championship veteran, tells NCAA’s Wayne Cavadi: “We’re still going to have to post good numbers because this course can eat you up in a hurry if you’re not paying attention.” But despite the challenges, the Bulldogs kept their heads above water, shooting 288 (E); 293(5-over); 286 (2-under) which puts them at (3-over) for the championship and three shots ahead of Southern California.
The NCAA Men’s Golf Championships began on Friday with 30 teams and 6 individuals, and will be narrowed to the top 15 teams and 9 individuals (not on an advancing team) for Monday’s final round. The low eight teams after today’s final round will advance to team match play competition Tuesday and Wednesday, airing live on the Golf Channel. Live news and tournament coverage also will be streamed live online via Golf Live Extra. Live coverage for the final round of stroke play will begin at 11 a.m. ET on the Golf Channel. Golf Central also will air immediately following the conclusion of tournament play live from Concession.