April 20, 2017
By John Frierson
UGAAA Staff Writer
Greyson Sigg has a look, on and off the golf course, of perpetual relaxation and comfort — with himself and whatever his situation is at the moment. It’s quite enviable, really.
When he plopped down in one of the big, comfy chairs in Georgia men’s golf’s lounge area Tuesday, he sported the same demeanor I’ve seen when he’s whacking balls on the driving range or playing the 18th hole of a tight, nationally-televised match at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta.
It’s a look of “no sweat” ... or maybe “who’s up for a bite to eat later?”
“His temperament has always been really good, it’s one of the strengths of his game,” Bulldogs coach Chris Haack said. “He doesn’t get real upset — if he’s getting upset he must really be doing something wrong, because he generally takes everything in stride and does a good job of being mentally strong.”
Last weekend, in one of the most important tournaments of his life, Sigg was strong across the board. He was in Sebring, Fla., along with former teammates Lee McCoy and Mookie DeMoss, working on his post-Georgia future.
Playing in Canada’s Mackenzie Tour qualifying school, Sigg placed third with rounds of 71, 67, 67 and 69 — finishing at 14-under — and earned himself exemptions into his first eight events this summer after his Bulldog career is complete.
“It went well, for sure, and it’s nice to have a place to play after school,” Sigg said. “I wish I could stay in college for about four more years, but I guess at some point you’ve got to grow up. I’m looking forward to it and it should be a good place to play.”
Sigg not only lined up his first summer as a professional by playing so well, he gave himself a nice confidence and momentum boost heading into the remainder of his collegiate career — starting with this weekend’s SEC Championships at Sea Island.
“I kind of got that off my chest and I can focus on SECs and Regionals and NCAAs,” he said.
A senior from Augusta, Sigg has won one tournament this season — the Linger Longer in March — and four in his great Bulldog career. In the Linger Longer, played at Great Waters Golf Course on Lake Oconee, Sigg shot a career-best 16-under for the event. He enters this weekend’s SECs ranked No. 25 in the country in the latest Golfweek rankings.
Asked about the development of Sigg’s game during his time at Georgia, Haack, Sigg and teammate Zach Healy all said the same thing: Sigg has always been a really good ball-striker, but it’s his short game that has greatly improved and helped him be one of the better collegiate golfers the past two years.
“He hit it so good but he missed a lot of putts,” Haack said of the young Sigg, “and he’s worked on that and every year he’s gotten a little bit better and a little bit better. He’s just been a really steady guy for four straight years, which are the kind of guys you’d like to have.”
Steady in performance, steady in temperament.
“He’ll pick you up if you’re down, but he’s not really too crazy,” was how Healy described Sigg’s leadership style.
Sigg grew up around golf, of course, and used to caddy some. He once caddied for ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser, a fact Kornheiser brought up on his radio show in early November 2015, after he watched Sigg and Illinois’ Alex Burge battled it out for 19 holes during the East Lake Cup, an event featuring the NCAA semifinalists from the previous season that was broadcast on Golf Channel.
On his radio show the next day, Kornheiser was like, “I know that kid!”
Sigg and Healy had a memorable player-caddy moment in September 2015. It was the start of Sigg’s junior year and he hadn’t won a tournament yet, a fact that was maybe threatening to put a little weight on his shoulders.
“It was always kind of in the back of my mind,” he said, “but at the same time you’ve got to be like, just go play golf, you can’t think about that, and just go shoot the lowest score you can that day.”
Playing in the Carmel Cup at the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Links, in a rare collegiate tournament that uses caddies, Sigg played great for four rounds and found himself in a three-man playoff after finishing at 2-under. But by the time the playoff for medalist honors was set to begin, the caddies had disappeared. In stepped Healy to carry his teammate’s bag as he chased his first collegiate win.
“Caddying in a college tournament and being a college player, that was a little different,” Healy said. “I didn’t have to do much: he hit it down the middle, he hit it on the green, two putts and he’s got his first win.
“I tried to stay out of his way as much as I could.”
It was a big moment for Sigg — a first win on a difficult, iconic course — and he’s won three times since.
“Mentally I’ve just been a lot better, knowing that I can win and compete — and that’s kind of the key to everything, I think,” Sigg said. “Winning the first event of my college career was definitely the point where I was like, OK, I can kind of do this. From then it was knowing that I fit in and can play with these guys.”
He showed again that he could last May, leading Georgia to a win in the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional and claiming medalist honors, again in pretty dramatic fashion.
Leading South Carolina’s Matt NeSmith by a stroke going into the 18th hole, Sigg was in the fairway after his tee shot and NeSmith was in the trees on the left.
“I kind of thought that par wins at that point, but he actually hit an unbelievable shot out of the woods to about 15 feet, and I was like, he’s going to make that,” Sigg said.
Suddenly Sigg’s second shot had a bit more pressure on it, not that you could tell by Sigg’s response. How did he handle it?
“I ended up hitting it up there to about a foot and tapped it in,” he said, smiling. “That’s one that I definitely haven’t forgotten about.”
Sigg said it was the best shot of his collegiate career. At least so far. There’s still time for more magic and memorable moments.
John Frierson is the staff writer for the UGA Athletic Association and curator of the ITA Men’s Tennis Hall of Fame. You can find his work at: Frierson Files. He’s also on Twitter: @FriersonFiles and @ITAHallofFame.