Men's preview: No. 17 Georgia
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
In preparation for the upcoming college season, Golfweek is breaking down the rosters of each of its preseason top 30 teams.
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2011-2012 Golfweek rank: 24
Go-to-guy: Keith Mitchell
Season outlook: After advancing to the title match of the 2011 NCAA Championship, Georgia saw standouts Harris English, Russell Henley and Hudson Swafford depart for professional golf. Then, last February, junior Bryden Macpherson withdrew from school to focus on his pro career, which included playing at the Masters last April.
The Bulldogs went from having one of college golf's most veteran-laden squads to an extremely young and inexperienced team in less than a year. But Georgia head coach Chris Haack's team still finished fourth at the SEC Championship and qualified for the NCAA finals.
Entering this fall, Georgia again looks like a contender, as it brings back its entire spring lineup, including senior T.J. Mitchell and junior Keith Mitchell (no relation), who lead the way for a program with two national championships and seven SEC titles in 16 seasons under Haack.
T.J. Mitchell, the only golfer to compete in all 12 of Georgia’s tournaments last season, advanced to match play at this year’s U.S. Amateur. Keith Mitchell finished ninth at the NCAA Championship and was an honorable-mention All-American. He also played in the U.S. Amateur, as did fellow junior Joey Garber and sophomores Nicholas Reach and Sepp Straka. The Bulldogs have just one newcomer in touted freshman Lee McCoy, who finished fifth at the Rolex Tournament of Champions and runner-up at the HP Boys Championship this summer.