April 20, 2009

Courtesy of Georgia Athletics

ST. SIMONS ISLAND -- The No. 1-ranked Georgia men's golf team claimed another SEC Championship on Sunday at Frederica Golf Club, running away from the field to win by 13 strokes.

Playing under clear skies but steady wind, the Bulldogs ended the tournament at 15-under-par 849, including a 2-under 286 in the final round. Arkansas closed with a 1-over 289 to finish at 2-under 862 for the tournament and claim runner-up honors. Florida's Billy Horschel claimed individual honors, closing with a 1-under 71 to finish at 10-under 206.

"That was enjoyable out there today," said Georgia coach Chris Haack. "We have had some really good teams the last two years and haven't been able to win the SEC Championship with them, which shows the strength of this conference. Getting out to a good start was key for us today, and allowed us to really enjoy this victory coming in."

The conference title is the 27th in Georgia's storied history. Haack has led the Bulldogs to six championships, with the last coming in 2006 at Sea Island Golf Club.

"It always feels great to win," senior Brian Harman said. "It's a good way to end my SEC career and this will give us alot of positive momentum heading into NCAA's."

The Bulldogs placed all five golfers in the top fifteen, including two in the top five. Sophomore Harris English paced the Bulldogs on Sunday, closing with a 4-under 68 to finish tied for fifth at 4-under 212. Harman closed with a 3-under 69 and finished in fourth place at 5-under 211.

"We never expected it to come this easy for us," said Haack. "In the past the great teams that I have had were the teams that were strong top to bottom. Having all five guys finish in the top 15 shows how strong we are in every position. Our high man yesterday was our low score today, and that depth is what it takes to win championships."

Senior Adam Mitchell closed with a 2-over 74 to finish tied for 10th at 1-under 215. Junior Hudson Swafford tied for 12th at even-par 216 after closing with the teams non-counting score of 4-over 76. Sophomore Russell Henley closed with a 3-over 75 to finish 15th at 1-over 217.