Former Deerfield star and Herald Player of the Year T.J. Mitchell will likely have more chances in the future at pro tournaments after he missed the cut in his first this weekend playing as an exempted amateur in Athens, where Mitchell is a soon-to-be graduated senior in the UGA golf team.
Ex-UGA star Todd closing in on Stadion Classic win
ATHENS --- Georgia graduate Brendon Todd shot a 2-under 69 Saturday at the University of Georgia Golf Course to grab sole possession of the lead through 54 holes at the Web.com Tour's Stadion Classic at UGA.
Todd, looking to become the third straight Georgia player to win the tournament after Russell Henley (2011) and Hudson Swafford (2012), made four birdies and two bogeys to finish 8-under par 205, one better than Tim Wilkinson. Nick Rousey trails by two after a 5-under 66 and Alexandre Rocha is three back at 5-under 208.
With the field battling steady wind, rain and brisk temperatures all day, Todd carded three birdies on the back nine before a bogey at the last to post one of just six rounds in the 60s on Saturday.
“I was a little disappointed to make bogey on 18, but overall I made a nice couple of birdies coming in and that made it not sting as much,” said Todd. “I knew there wouldn’t be anything bad that could come from leading after today. To win here in Athens would be really special.”
With an ominous weather forecast looming for Sunday – tee times have been moved back to 11 a.m. with players going off the 1st and 10th tees in threesomes – Todd said he considered the possibility that the event may be shortened to 54 holes and Saturday’s third round may be the last golf played this week.
“I was looking at the leaderboards all day,” said Todd. “I don’t know how Tim was playing it, but I was basically playing to win today. I tried to treat it like a one-day shootout. You don’t know what the weather’s going to have for us tomorrow.”
Wilkinson, meanwhile, said he was trying to stay focused on the present in the difficult elements. A missed par putt under five feet at the 18th would have tied him for the lead, instead giving him a round of 1-under 70 and leaving him a shot behind Todd.
“I was just trying to stay dry and play as well as I could,” said the 34 year-old left-hander, who added that his short game has been sharp enough to keep him close to the lead. “I’ve been chipping them really close, which makes it a lot easier than making six-, seven- and eight-foot putts for par.”
Rousey’s 5-under 66 marked the best round of the day by two shots, giving him third place alone through 54 holes. Rocha, meanwhile, holed his second shot on the 18th to post a 3-under 68 and sit in fourth at 5-under.
Former Bulldog Ryuji Imada is also within striking distance at 3-under 210 following his third-round 1-over 72. Also former Georgia players Kevin Kisner (69) and Hudson Swafford (72) are at 2-under 211 and 1-over 214, respectively.
In the final round on Sunday, Swafford will tee off at 11 a.m., followed by Kisner at 12:06 p.m., Imada at 12:28 p.m. and Todd at 12:50 p.m.
ATHENS — T.J. Mitchell and his University of Georgia teammate Keith Mitchell will be chocking their first professional tournament up to a learning experience.
Both Bulldogs missed the cut Friday at the Web.com Tour’s Stadion Classic, which both Mitchells (no relation) earned an automatic exemption to play in as amateurs after finishing the collegiate season as the program’s Nos. 1 and 2 golfers. T.J., a former Deerfield-Windsor star and Herald Player of the Year, was 2-over after Day 1, and that’s where he finished, while Keith was 1-over after the first round and finished 2-over as both just missed the cut line of 1-over.
Nonetheless, both enjoyed the experience immensely.
“It’s a new kind of nerves,” T.J. Mitchell said. “You go from junior golf to amateur golf to college golf and you have to get over the nerves of those first few holes. So I was a little nervous today, but I think I handled myself pretty well.”
Both players said their goal entering the tournament was to “just have fun,” considering neither were eligible for any prize money playing as the field’s only two amateurs.
The Mitchell duo were hoping to match the success of one of their former teammates, Russell Henley, who won the event playing with the exact same amateur status in 2011m becoming just the second amateur to ever win a Tour event in history.
FORMER UGA GOLFER GETS MARRIAGE PROPOSAL AFTER PRACTICE ROUND: Former Georgia golfer Angela Jerman got more than she bargained for when she agreed to caddie for her boyfriend, Todd Ormsby, in the Stadion Classic this week.
Ormsby surprised Jerman, a two-time All-American and SEC Player of the Year for the Lady Bulldogs (1999-2002), with a locker-room proposal in UGA’s Boyd Golf Center on Wednesday night.
“He totally caught me off guard,” Jerman said after carrying Ormsby’s bag for 18 holes Thursday. “He told me we needed to do an interview and I needed to hurry to the locker room to change. I don’t remember all the things that he said. I remember, ‘Will you marry me?’ but I don’t remember any other stuff.”
Ormsby and Jerman have known each other about two years. Both work as golf professionals at Canongate properties in Peachtree City, Ormsby at Braelinn Golf Club and Jerman at White Oak.
They’ve been dating for about six months, and Ormsby figured this would be the perfect place to pop the question.
“She is happy here, comfortable here and she’s a huge UGA fan,” Ormsby said. “She did really well when she played for Georgia, so this feels like home for her.”
It wasn’t until he sprung his trap Wednesday night that it occurred to Ormsby the risk he was taking.
“I was putting my life on the line with that proposal,” he said with a laugh. “If she had said no, it would not have been good for this weekend. But I asked her and everything went well. She said, ‘Yes.’ Actually, she said, ‘Absolutely,’ so I guess that covers it.”
They seemed a good pair on the course. Ormsby, who won a Georgia PGA section qualifier to get into this week’s field, was even par after the first round.