Archive for the ‘Golf’ Category

Georgia officially names new women’s golf coach

Georgia announced today the hiring of Josh Brewer as head coach of its women’s golf team.

Brewer, an assistant coach for the women’s and men’s golf teams at Southern California since 2008, replaces Kelley Hester, whose contract was not renewed by UGA after five years in the job. Hester last week was named the women’s golf  head coach at Furman.

Brewer, a native of Brownstown, Ind., earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees (in business management and kinesiology, respectively) from Indiana, where he lettered on the golf team from 1994-98. He was an assistant men’s golf coach at Indiana from 2003-08.

Brewer sent a message this afternoon that he is “currently on a plane for first recruiting trip.” He added: “Go Dawgs!”

“Josh has experienced tremendous success at every level of his golf career,” UGA athletic director Greg McGarity said in a statement. “… We are confident Josh will be able to bring a very high level of experience to our program.”

“I have been blessed to learn under …

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Kelley Hester gets women’s golf job at Furman, Dogs tab USC assistant

ATHENS – Kelley Hester, Georgia’s women’s golf coach for the past five years, didn’t stay unemployed for long. The UGA graduate landed the head coaching job just up the road at Furman, she confirmed Friday.

Meanwhile, it appears that the Bulldogs have tabbed Josh Brewer to replace Hester as the Lady Dogs’ coach. Brewer, 36, has been assistant women’s golf coach at Southern Cal since 2009 and was a men’s golf assistant at Indiana before that. Brewer played golf for the Hoosiers from 1995-98.

Hester was informed by athletic director Greg McGarity on May 31 that her five-year contract, set to expire on June 30, would not be renewed. The decision came as a surprise to many as the Lady Bulldogs finished the season ranked No. 9 in the nation by Golfstat and No. 12 by Golf Week, had two All-Americans and had signed the best player in South America. However, Georgia failed to advance to the NCAA Golf Championships for a third consecutive year.

Hester will begin her new job on July 1 …

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UGA fires Kelley Hester as women’s golf coach

ATHENS – Georgia women’s golf coach Kelley Hester has been dismissed by athletic director Greg McGarity.

Hester

Hester

Hester, 38, said she met with McGarity on Thursday in Athens. An official announcement from UGA will come Friday afternoon.

“My contract was up and he didn’t renew it,” Hester said Friday morning. “He just said he didn’t have the confidence in me to lead the program in the direction he felt like it should go.”

Hester, who played for the Bulldogs from 1992-96, was the head coach at Arkansas for five years before accepting Georgia’s offer to return to her alma mater. Her first signee was Marta Silva Zamora of Spain, who became just the second four-time All-American in UGA history and was the 2011 National Player of the Year. Hester helped produce 11 All-Americans during in time in Athens. She signed Manuela Carbajo Re, the top-ranked junior in South America, earlier this year.

However, Georgia failed to advance out of regionals and on to the NCAA Championships in each …

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UGA golfers hopes to ride wave of good karma through NCAA regionals

ATHENS — The NCAA Men’s Golf Regional at the UGA Golf Course is underway today and the Bulldogs are feeling good about advancing to the NCAA Championships.

And why shouldn’t they? There has been a lot of good karma oozing out of the Bulldogs’ clubhouse  at the Boyd Golf Center here lately.

University of Georgia golfers or alums have been winning tournaments all over the place for the past year or so, including those played right there off their back porch. Two weeks ago Hudson Swafford holed a bunker shot on the 72nd hole and shot a final-round 62 to win the Stadion Classic Nationwide Tournament at UGA. That came exactly a year after Swafford’s teammate Russell Henley won the same event as a UGA senior. Georgia alums Bubba Watson, Harris English, Chris Kirk, Erik Compton and Brendan Todd all have won tournaments in the last year.

So with the Bulldogs playing a regional on their home turf, there has to be some good vibes flowing. Right?

“There are a lot of good things going on, …

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UGA grad Hudson Swafford holes out on 18 to shoot 62 and win Stadion

Hudson Swafford watches his shot leave the bunker below the 18th green at UGA Golf Course on Sunday. It went in, giving him a birdie, a course record 62 and a victory in the Stadion Classic at UGA. (Photo courtesy of Stadion Classic)

Hudson Swafford watches his shot leave the bunker below the 18th green at UGA Golf Course on Sunday. It went in, giving him a birdie, a course record 62 and a victory in the Stadion Classic at UGA. (Photo courtesy of Stadion Classic)

ATHENS – Hudson Swafford made a back nine charge worthy of that April invitational about 100 miles southeast from here, punctuating a record round of 62 by slam-dunking a sand shot from a greenside bunker on No. 18 for a birdie to win the Stadion Classic at UGA.

When he holed out on his last shot of the tournament for a 17-under score on Sunday, the roars and barks that ensued shook the needles on the stately pines that mimic those at Augusta National and could be heard from the farthest reaches of this 7,300-yard Robert Trent Jones design.

Swafford said he wasn’t immediately certain his ball went in until he“felt the vibration” of the crowd’s spontaneous appluase.

“Such a surreal feeling,” he said. “I couldn’t have drawn it up any better.

“The …

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‘Pseudo Bulldog’ Josh Broadaway plays his own style of golf

Josh Broadaway putts left-handed with a baseball grip . . .

Josh Broadaway putts left-handed with a baseball grip . . .

ATHENS — When it comes to his golf swing, Josh Broadaway doesn’t do anything right. But fortunately for him, the golf ball doesn’t seem to mind, and the Albany native finds himself a stroke out of the lead in the Stadion Classic at UGA.

A self-taught player, Broadaway plays right-handed but with a cross-handed grip. He putts left-handed with a baseball grip. Nevertheless, he manages to get the ball in the hole. It took him just 66 whacks to do that on the par-71 University of Georgia Golf Course on Friday, and he trails only Jim Horschel and Jim Herman, who are at 10 under par.

“I started playing that way when I was 5 years old because I didn’t have any left-handed clubs,” said Broadaway, who Nationwide Tour regular. “From hitting baseballs and holding a bat left-handed, that’s just the way I gripped it and I’ve been doing it ever since. I’ve been doing it 28 years that way.”

Broadaway was among 26 players within …

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Georgia golfers get a hands-on education in Stadion Classic at UGA

Georgia sophomore Brian Carter will be playing in the first professional tournament of his career on a sponsor exemption in teh Stadion Classic at UGA. (UGA photo by Evey Wilson)

Georgia sophomore Brian Carter will be playing in the first professional tournament of his career on a sponsor exemption in teh Stadion Classic at UGA. (UGA photo by Evey Wilson)

ATHENS – Georgia’s Brian Carter is playing in his first professional golf tournament on Thursday. He’s worried, but it’s not what you’d think.

Weighing most heavily on Carter’s mind on the eve of the Stadion Classic at UGA golf tournament – a Nationwide Tour event — was how he was going to do in three final exams. While the professionals were practicing on the UGA Golf Course and playing in Wednesday’s pro-am, Carter was going to be in the middle of a comprehensive final in consumer economics.

“I’m probably more nervous about that than I am the golf,” said Carter, a sophomore from Augusta.

Carter had nothing on teammate Nicholas Reach. The freshman from Moscow, Pa., had finals Wednesday in calculus and economics. He, too, is going to be teeing off with the pros on Thursday.

“I’ve been grinding on …

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Bubba Watson not only Bulldog burning it up in pro golf

Russell Henley hoist the winner's trophy after winning last years Stadion Classic at UGA Nationwide Tournament while still an amatuer. (Photo by Robert Matre reprinted with permission)

Russell Henley hoist the winner's trophy after winning last years Stadion Classic at UGA Nationwide Tournament while still an amatuer. (Photo by Robert Matre reprinted with permission)

ATHENS – It’s good to be a “Dawg” these days. At least that’s what former members of the UGA golf team are saying.

Three of them were back on campus on Monday as part of media day for the Stadion Classic at UGA. The annual Nationwide Tour event on the UGA Golf Course is set to tee off May 3-6. Defending champion Russell Henley – who won last year’s tournament while still a senior at Georgia – Hudson Swafford and Richard Scott are now Nationwide regulars and are back to play again. Scott, who played on the Bulldogs’ 2005 national championship team, is also a Nationwide player and accepted a sponsor’s exemption from the Stadion on Monday.

They represent a small part of what has been a really big year in pro golf for the Bulldogs. You may recall that 2000-2001 UGA letterman Bubba Watson recently …

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UGA’s Haack ‘exhausted with jubilation’ after watching Bubba Watson win Masters

UGA golf coach Chris Haack (middle) with UGA alums Angie and Bubba Watson during the UGA Stadion Classic in Athens in April 2011. (Photo by Bulldawg Illustrated)

UGA golf coach Chris Haack (middle) with UGA alums Angie and Bubba Watson during the UGA Stadion Classic in Athens in April 2011. (Photo by Bulldawg Illustrated)

ATHENS – Bubba Watson wasn’t the only one shedding tears of joy after the UGA graduate tapped in a one foot putt to win the 76th Masters golf tournament. One hundred miles away, Georgia golf coach Chris Haack and his longtime assistant Jim Douglas ended up in a tearful embrace in the living room of Haack’s Bogart home.

Haack, Douglas, some of Georgia’s current and former players and some extended family from Roanoke, Va., gathered there to watch the final round of the Masters on Easter Sunday. With Watson, a 2000-2001 Bulldog letterman, starting the day three shots off the lead, it began as a casual hope-fest. But when Watson bagged victory on the second playoff hole, it ended in a full-fledged bark-a-thon.

“It was pretty intense; it was crazy; a great time,” said Haack, his voice still hoarse and raw with emotion an …

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Two UGA golfers turning pro with victories already under their belts

UGA graduates Harris English and Russell Henley are set to begin promising professional careers in the coming weeks. (UGA photo)

UGA graduates Harris English and Russell Henley, both of whom won Nationwide Tour events as amatuers, are set to begin promising professional careers in the coming weeks. (Photo by EyeOnSportsMedia.com)

We interrupt all this football talk to interject a little golf news. . . .

Recent UGA graduate Harris English will announce tomorrow at Black Creek Club in Chattanooga that he will turn pro and join the Nationwide Tour, according to the Chattanooga Times-Free Press. His professional debut is expected to come in the Children’s Hospital Classic on Oct. 6-9 at Black Creek, where he grew up learning and playing the game. English won the Nationwide’s Children’s Hospital Invitational in Ohio just a late July 24, but entered as an amateur in order to remain eligible to play on the U.S. Walker Cup team.

Last week, English was in Scotland representing the U.S. along with UGA teammate and fellow Nationwide Tour event winner Russell Henley. The heavily-favored U.S. team lost to Great …

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