Henley leads Georgia to another SEC title
Mark down another conference title for Georgia.
The Bulldogs won their second consecutive SEC Championship Sunday, the first time they have gone back-to-back since 2000 and 2001.
Led by junior Russell Henley, the top-ranked player in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, the 15th-ranked Bulldogs closed with a 4-over 284 at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga., to finish at 4-over 844. No. 8 Florida and No. 42 Mississippi tied for second at 849. No. 41 Arkansas, which lost to Texas A&M in the final match at the NCAA Championship last season, was fourth at 853.
Henley shot rounds of 70-67-67 to finish at 6-under 204 with South Carolina senior George Bryan IV (68). Henley and Bryan returned to No. 18 for a playoff. After each made par, they played No. 18 again and Henley made a 10-foot birdie putt to clinch the victory.
“The main thing was I wanted our team to win – and we’d already done that,” Henley said. “So after that, I was pretty relaxed. I was already so happy about the team, so being the medalist was just icing on the cake.”
Two other Bulldogs finished in the top 10 – freshman Bryden Macpherson (209) tied for eighth and junior Harris English (210) tied for 10th.
The Bulldogs also finished 10th and 12th in events earlier this season.
“This is one of the most special teams we’ve had,” said Georgia coach Chris Haack. “This team has had its struggles this year, but they have grown up and they have grown together. I could not be prouder of this group.”
It wasn’t a great SEC Championship for two of the nation’s top teams. South Carolina, No. 11 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, finished ninth at 24-over 864. No. 21 Alabama was last in the 12-team field at 878.
The Crimson Tide were without their No. 1 played, Bud Cauley, who played in the PGA Tour’s Verizon Heritage this weekend. Cauley, one of the favorites to win the Ben Hogan Award and Golfweek’s second-ranked player, missed the cut.
– Information from the University of Georgia was used in this report.