UGA Women’s Golf: Georgia Begins Postseason Play At SECs
April 20, 2017
Georgia Women’s Golf Notes
2017 SEC Championships
April 21-23 at Greystone Golf & Country Club
Par 72; 6202 Yards
Georgia Begins Postseason Play At SEC Championships
The Georgia women’s golf team hopes to continue to build upon the obvious momentum from its last two regular-season events when the Bulldogs open postseason play at the SEC Championships this weekend.
Georgia finished as runner-up at the Bryan National Collegiate three weeks ago. Nine of the Bulldogs’ counting rounds that weekend were par-or-better tallies, a mark that is even more impressive considering sophomore Rinko Mitsunaga was not on the lineup for the first time in her career due to a slight back injury.
The following weekend, Georgia supplied the individual medalist and finished first in both the stroke and match play portions of the 45th annual Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic. Jillian Hollis notched the individual win with a 5-under 67 that was three shots better than the field. The Bulldogs earned a six-shot win in stroke play qualifying and then marched through the match play bracket as well. Harang Lee and Bailey Tardy both were 3-0 in match play for Georgia.
“We’re playing our best golf of the spring and continue to work hard,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “Hopefully, the momentum from the Liz Murphey carries over to this weekend.”
The SECs will be contested at Greystone Golf and Country Club in Birmingham for the fifth straight year, the third time on the club’s Legacy Course. One switch from previous years is pairings in twosomes. Georgia is the tourney’s No. 2 seed and will play Friday’s opening round with top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Alabama, teeing off beginning at 10:28 ET.
The field for the SECs is, as usual, stacked with many of the nation’s top teams. Six of the league’s 14 schools are currently ranked in the top-25 by both Golfstat and Golfweek.
The Golfstat ledger features No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 Georgia, No. 8 Florida, No. 11 South Carolina, No. 13 Arkansas and No. 20 Texas A&M.
In the Golfweek poll, Alabama is No. 1, Florida is No. 6, Georgia is No. 7, South Carolina is No. 11, Arkansas is No. 12 and Texas A&M is No. 21.
Georgia’s lineup for the SECs will consist of the same quintet of Bulldogs for five of six spring events – Hollis, Lee, Mitsunaga, Mary Ellen Shuman and Tardy.
“They know what this means, the opportunity to play for an SEC Championship and after that a national championship,” Brewer said. “They’re as motivated as any group I’ve had in my five seasons at Georgia, and they just want a chance come Sunday to win. If they play well, we’ll definitely have that chance. They’re ready. I’ve seen them all week.”
Those golfers have combined to post 38 of Georgia’s 39 par-or-better individual rounds this season, as well as 13 of 14 top-10 and 23 of 26 top-20 individual finishes during 2016-17.
UGA’s SEC Tourney History
Georgia has captured a league-leading 19 SEC Women’s Golf Championships all-time. Georgia has won 11 team and eight individual titles.
Florida ranks second with 17 conference championships, eight team and nine individual titles, while Auburn ranks third with 15 crowns, nine team and six individual.
UGA, UF and AU own 51 of the combined 72 SEC titles all-time in women’s golf, while the other 11 league schools have captured the other 21 (eight team and 13 individual).
Georgia Earns Trophies
Georgia has earned five titles to date during the 2016-17 season, three team crowns and two individual honors.
The Bulldogs swept the season-opening Cardinal Kickoff in September. Harang Lee shot 3-under 141 to share medalist honors with Auburn’s Elena Hualde and lead Georgia to a six-shot win in the team competition.
Georgia also won the Windy City Collegiate in October for a second straight year. Bailey Tardy, Jillian Hollis and Lee all finished among the top-10 individuals en route to leading the Bulldogs to a four-shot win over Stanford.
Georgia returned to the winner’s circle at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, where the Bulldogs officially earned three trophies. Hollis was medalist and UGA captured the team titles in both stroke and match play.
UGA Also Well Represented In Individual Rankings
Four Georgia golfers are currently in the top 50 in rankings of both Golfstat and Golfweek.
In Golfweek, Hollis is No. 11, Lee is No. 25, Tardy is No. 26 and Mitsunaga is No. 27.
SEC golfers are sprinkled through the top 50 of both computer rankings. All told, 17 golfers are included in the top 50 of one or both polls.
Not Just A National Thing
Three Bulldog golfers aren’t just highly ranked among the collegiate ranks, they also are included within the top-55 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings, which are administered jointly the U.S. Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.
A Very Successful Summer
Georgia golfers compiled a long list of impressive results during the summer of 2016.
Most notably, Rinko Mitsunaga and Bailey Tardy earned spots in the field for the U.S. Women’s Open. Mitsunaga did so by winning a qualifier at Sugar Mill Country Club in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., while Tardy won a qualifier at Butler (Pa.) Country Club outside Pittsburgh.
Tardy was a member of the U.S. team for the Curtis Cup at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club in Enniskerry, Ireland.
Jillian Hollis won the Women’s Western Amateur. Each of her six matches went the distance, or more, and all told, Hollis played 164 holes of golf over six days at the Western.
Hollis also received an exemption into the LPGA’s Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-I in Sylvania, Ohio.
Harang Lee finished as runner-up in the Spanish Amateur, her fifth top-10 and seventh top-20 performance in the last seven editions of the event. Lee also helped Spain to a runner-up finish at the European Ladies’ Team Championships and tied for 30th at the European Ladies’ Amateur.
Bulldogs Shatter School Tourney Score Record
The 2016-17 Bulldogs broke the school record for 54-hole tournament score during the fall campaign. Georgia shot 19-under at the Annika Intercollegiate Presented by 3M to better the existing mark by five strokes.
The previous record was 14-under at the 2009 Cougar Classic.
Over the past two seasons, the Bulldogs have now posted five of the top-six scores in school history. In addition to the school-record performance, Georgia also shot 12-under at the 2015 Windy City Collegiate, 10-under at both the 2015 Mason Rudolph and the 2016 Windy City Collegiate and 6-under at the 2016 NCAA Bryan Regional.
Welcome To The Team
Georgia’s roster grew by two members since the start of the season.
In February, assistant coach Whitney Wade and her husband Chase welcomed their first son, Jackson.