Georgia Bulldogs see six former golfers in Masters Tournament field

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 05: Bubba Watson of the United States and Cameron Young of the United States walk on the 13th hole during a practice round prior to the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 05, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 05: Bubba Watson of the United States and Cameron Young of the United States walk on the 13th hole during a practice round prior to the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 05, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Georgia Bulldogs have an excellent reputation for putting golfers into the various professional tours, especially the PGA Tour. There are usually upwards of five to six in each week’s field, and 11 have won at least one event.

This week the best week in golf is here as golfers worldwide gather for the 86th Masters Tournament in Augusta. As much as Dawg fans love their football, there is a second week that holds dear to their heart, and it’s this one.

Augusta National Golf Club is just under two hours from the Classic City, and this one is as anticipated as they come. Tiger Woods could play in his first official event since his horrific crash, and it has the whole sports world buzzing.

Georgia fans will have plenty to cheer about this week as most of us love Woods, but also because, once again, the Dawgs have more than a handful of players in the field.

Six Georgia Bulldog golfers will try to steal the limelight in the 2022 Masters Tournament.

When head coach Kirby Smart took over the job in Athens, one of the changes he made was moving the annual G-Day game to the week after the Masters Tournament, which helped immediately boost attendance records.

His first G-Day turned into the infamous 93K-Day, and since then, the Dawgs continue to fill up Sanford Stadium on that April Saturday. This year it’s even better that the G-Day game is after the Masters because if it weren’t, attendance wouldn’t have been the same.

There are six Dawgs in the field this week, and it would have been seven if Harris English was healthy enough to tee it up, but he isn’t quite ready after a hip surgery.

The six playing this week are Russell Henley, Brian Harman, Bubba Watson, Hudson Swafford, Kevin Kisner and Sepp Straka.

Bubba Watson

Watson is the only Bulldog ever to win a major championship as he has two green jackets from 2012 and 2014. He loves Augusta, and the course suits him well.

His incredible shot that won him his first Masters will forever be one of the best at Augusta National. He hasn’t played that much this season, but Watson claimed a top-15 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open with a T14.

That finish is his best of the season so far, but he loves Augusta National, so if he plays well, he could see another top 20 finish.

Watson knows what it takes to win this tournament, and if his game is on point, he could be a shocker this week.

He will play with Tom Hoge and Keita Nakajima for the first two rounds at the 12:35 p.m. tee time on Thursday and the 9:17 a.m. tee time on Friday.

Brian Harman

The next former Dawg in the field is Harman, who has steadily been finishing well since the start of the new season. Harman has two top 10 finishes at the American Express and Valspar Championship.

He finished alongside Watson at T14 at the WM Phoenix Open and didn’t have a terrible week during the Match Play event a couple of weeks ago. Harman ranks No. 53 in the world right now, but it wouldn’t surprise us to see him make a surge this week.

I’m not saying he could win it, but Harman has been playing well for a while. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him put it all together for his first major championship. His best finish in Augusta came last year when he finished T12, and this will be his fourth Masters appearance. It would be great to see him play well.

Harman will play with Stewart Cink and Harry Higgs with a 9:06 a.m. tee time on Thursday and at 12:13 p.m. Friday.

Kevin Kisner

Kisner is one of the fan favorites because he is real and honest. Not to mention he is a fantastic golfer. He finished second at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play event, solo fourth at the Players Championship, and has a T3 at the Sony Open. Kisner is playing great golf right now and looks like a man on a mission to get on the President’s Cup team.

This Masters Tournament marks his seventh appearance as he made four of six cuts in Augusta, with his best finish being a T21 in 2019. He missed the cut the last two years, though, so this week will be interesting to see if that trend continues or if the Kisner we all saw in the Match Play event returns.

It would be great to see Kisner get a green jacket because he is such a likable pro on the PGA Tour.

Kisner has an excellent pairing for the first two days as he will battle Augusta National with Daniel Berger and Tommy Fleetwood. Their Thursday tee time is at 10:12 a.m. and 1:19 p.m. on Friday.

Hudson Swafford

One of a few Dawgs who have won this season is Swafford, who claimed his second American Express. This year marks his second consecutive Masters Tournament, as he missed the cut last year.

Swafford has been up and down since his win in January, with his best finish being a T36 at the Corales Puntacana Championship. He fished T58 last week at the Valero Texas Open, so Swafford will need to hunker down and dig deep to make his first cut in Augusta.

If his game is where it needs to be, though, he could shock some people, but this year is about making the weekend and building some confidence.

Swafford will take on the first two rounds with Min Woo Lee and Cameron Young at the 8:55 a.m. tee time on Thursday and at 12:02 p.m. on Friday.

Sepp Straka

The last Dawg to hoist a trophy that helped him get into Augusta National is Straka. This year marks his first Masters appearance after getting that first PGA Tour victory at the Honda Classic. Straka also has a T9 finish at the Players Championship and a T15 at the Genesis Invitational.

There is something about the way Straka plays golf that makes you pay attention, and if any of these Dawgs could pull off something special, I think it could be him. The Ox has the power and skill around the green, so if he plays well, watch out — it could be a great rookie finish.

Straka will play with Larry Mize and Francesco Molinari for the first two rounds, with Thursday’s tee time set for 8:22 a.m. and Friday’s for 11:29 a.m.

Russell Henley

Henley marks the final Georgia golfer in the field and is another one who is playing excellent golf. This year is the first invitation to Augusta National since 2018, so it’s been a few years, but the three-time PGA Tour winner has something to prove.

In 2017 he finished T11 in Augusta, so Henley knows what success looks like here. His game is at a strong place right now, and he is another Dawg who could shock some people. Henley is overdue for a win or a strong finish, and it could come this week.

He finished solo second at the Sony Open, T7 at the Houston Open, T13 at the Players and the Arnold Palmer Invitational, so he is close to putting it all together.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Henley put on a green jacket or finish top-10 this week because he has a ton of talent, and a win in his home state would be a huge confidence booster.

Henley plays with Lee Westwood and Corey Conners for the first two rounds with the 12:13 p.m. tee time on Thursday and 8:55 a.m. on Friday.

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The Georgia Bulldogs will be well represented this week as these six Dawgs look to win in one of the most hallowed places in all of golf.

Don’t count out any of these guys because they are all strong enough to win it, but we all know that Augusta National can also chew golfers up and spit them out if they aren’t careful.