Georgia Wins Mercedes-Benz Championship

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
Courtesy of georgiadogs.com
 
NCAAKnoxville, Tenn. -- The No. 2-ranked Georgia women's golf team played the final nine holes of the final round at even par en route to capturing the team title at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship at the Cherokee Country Club here on Sunday.
 
The Bulldogs' 8-over 292 on Sunday gave them a 54-hole tally of 882, three shots better than No. 6 Purdue, which led after the first and second rounds. No. 3 Arkansas finished third at 889, followed by the Swedish National Junior Team at 892 and No. 19 Tennessee at 899.
 
'I've said all year that Purdue and Arkansas are the two most improved teams in the country this year,' head coach Todd McCorkle said. 'They are both legitimately top-7 or top-8 teams. To battle with them head-to-head right down the stretch and come out on top was a really good feeling.'
 
Georgia surged ahead of the Boilermakers just before the turn, rallying from a one-shot deficit entering the day to move to 2-up with nine holes remaining. With the tournament in the balance, junior Whitney Wade and senior Kelly Froelich played the back half of the course at 2- and 1-under, respectively, while freshman Taylor Leon was even over the same stretch. Despite the Bulldogs' solid play, Purdue regained the lead with three holes to play but was then 6-over as a team on No. 16, No. 17 and No. 18.
 
'We made five good solid pars on No. 18 and played No. 17 well also to finish very strong,' head coach Todd McCorkle said. 'We know what it feels like (to lose a lead late). It already happened to us this season. It's good to be on the other side this time. Arkansas really made a run at us early. They played the first couple of holes under par and those are the toughest holes on the golf course. We sort of took their punch, steadied ourselves and played well for the rest of the day.'

The Bulldogs' counting scores on Sunday were a 1-under 70 from Leon, a 72 from Wade, a 74 from freshman Mallory Hetzel and a 76 from Froelich. Freshman Alina Lee carded a 79.
 
Overall, Wade and Leon posted their third consecutive top-10 finishes in as many events this season. Wade was third at 3-over 216, three shots off the pace of medalist Amanda McCurdy of Arkansas. Leon was fourth at 217. Additionally, Hetzel tied for 11th at 224, Lee tied for 30th at 229 and Froelich tied for 34th at 230.
 
The team win was even more gratifying after Georgia posted runner-up finishes in its first two tournaments of the year.
 
'I think that the freshmen now have a better understanding of what college golf is all about,' McCorkle said. 'It was a maturation process that we had to go through. I knew we would have to go through it and we've gone through it probably about as well as I could have expected. I'm really happy with our team.'
 
The Bulldogs will return to action in two weekends when they travel to Auburn, Ala., to compete in The Derby Invitational at the Auburn University Club, Georgia's final competition of the 2005 calendar.
 
Team Leaderboard
Georgia 297-293-292=882
Purdue 288-301-296=885
Arkansas 300-299-290=889
Swedish Jrs. 297-302-293=892
Tennessee 308-298-293=899
Michigan State 294-313-300=907
Northwestern 310-307-295=912
Kent State 296-319-299=914
Penn State 306-308-301=915
Tulane 308-299-310=917
 
Individual Leaderboard
Amanda McCurdy, Arkansas 70-74-69=213
Marci Turner, Tennessee 76-71-68=215
Whitney Wade, Georgia 71-73-72=216
Taylor Leon, Georgia 73-74-70=217
Onnarin Sattayabanphot, Purdue 70-76-72=218
Anna Nordqvist, Sweden 76-72-72=220
Christel Boeljon, Purdue 76-72-73=221
Stacy Lewis, Arkansas 75-75-71=221
Anna Soderstrom, Sweden 73-79-70=222
Maggie Lester, Penn State 73-73-77=22
 
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.