September 8, 2012

Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic: Dogs lead, Tide second

The University of Georgia’s T.J. Mitchell and Lee McCoy both had strong first days at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic, and their opening rounds went a long way toward making sure the Bulldogs’ first day was good, too.

Mitchell, the team’s senior captain, birdied eight holes to open with a 7-under-par 65 Friday at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, taking the individual lead as the tournament’s 24th edition got under way. Alabama’s Bobby Wyatt was two strokes behind in the 15-team, 54-hole event, which continues today and finishes Sunday.

McCoy, meanwhile, fired a 68 — the freshman, playing in his first collegiate event, shared third place with Auburn’s Niclas Carlsson — and that helped Georgia grab first place with an opening 278. Joey Garber (71, tied for 15th place) and Keith Mitchell (74, T38) had the other counting rounds for the Bulldogs, who held a six-shot edge over Alabama.

The Crimson Tide, the No. 1-ranked team in the nation as the fall season begins, won the Classic title in 2006, 2007 and 2010.

Georgia is a two-time winner at The Farm, but its last championship came in 2004. The other came in 1999, when the tournament had both a spring and fall edition; the Bulldogs won the former event.

“It was so nice to see us get off to a good start,” Georgia coach Chris Haack said in a release on the Bulldogs athletic site, “Our guys have really been dialed in during the summer, and they’ve been playing with a lot of confidence. We’ve got a long way to go this weekend and we need to keep the focus that we had today these next two rounds.

“T.J. was a great leader for us today. That’s the perfect role for him. He was striking the ball really well today.”

LSU — which had no one among the top 10 individuals, but four among the top 25 — was third at 286, followed by Wake Forest (288) and 2011 tournament champion Auburn (289).

North Florida (291), North Carolina (291), Tennessee-Chattanooga (292), Middle Tennessee State (292), Clemson (292), Texas (293), Kennesaw State (293), South Carolina (296), Tennessee (299) and Georgia Tech (301) round out the team standings after one day of play.

Among individuals, North Carolina’s Michael McGowan, Texas’ Brandon Stone and South Carolina’s Dykes Harbin shared fifth at 69, while seven players were knotted at 70 for eighth, a group that included Texas’ Jordan Spieth, who claimed low amateur honors at this year’s U.S. Open.

For complete first-round results and live scoring from today’s second round, visit

The tournament is open to the public and free to attend.

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