ATHENS — Georgia golf coach Chris Haack likes to joke, or maybe it’s only half-joking, that he should get his golfers to guarantee just 1 percent of their future earnings back to the program. Lately, the Bulldogs would be raking in the money.
Brian Harman (class of 2008) just won the Wells Fargo Championship, which comes with a $1.35 million check. Kevin Kisner (class of 2006) was in the second-place pairing at the Zurich Classic, netting $411,800.
There are nine former Georgia golfers on the PGA Tour right now, and they’ve combined to win $10.8 million so far this year. And it’s still only May.
Only one other school, Arizona State (which counts somebody named Phil Mickelson as an alum), can boast a bigger haul this year. That’s per the Rivals Cup, which keeps track of such things. Georgia won the alumni money total the previous three years.
“It’s just kind of a point of pride,” Haack said.
Harman’s victory on Sunday was his second on tour.
Bubba Watson (class of 2001) is the most famous former Bulldogs player on tour, having won nine events, including the Masters twice. But there’s plenty of depth, with the aforementioned as well as Chris Kirk (four PGA tour wins), Russell Henley (three wins), Harris English (two), Hudson Stafford (one), and two others getting their careers started: Lee McCoy (class of 2016) and Keith Mitchell (class of 2014).
In fact, everyone except Watson graduated within the past decade. There are also five Bulldogs on the Web.com tour. So there could be plenty more tour victories coming for the Bulldogs.
Haack, who led Georgia to national championships in 1999 and 2005, and 29 SEC championships, was asked about the effect of all the PGA Tour success.
“It certainly helps. People look and see that these guys come out prepared and ready to have success,” Haack said. “Hopefully in some form or fashion they say, Well these guys are doing something right.”