UGA Women’s Golf: Georgia Leads at the Gold Rush

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LONG BEACH, Calif. — The Georgia women’s golf team is atop the team leaderboard following the opening two rounds of The Gold Rush on Monday. The Bulldogs shot a combined 591 at the Eldorado Park Golf Course, one stroke better than Colorado State.

“It was a very good start to the spring,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “There was a little bit of rust out there, but that’s to be expected when you’ve had a three-and-a-half month layoff. At the end of the day, we’re exactly in the position we want to be in with one round to go.”

Three Georgia golfers are in the top 10 in the individual field. Rinko Mitsunaga is tied for third at 1-over 145, including a 3-under 69 in the afternoon. In addition, Paula Neira Garcia is tied for fifth at 3-over 147, and Gabriela Coello is tied for seventh at 4-over 148.

“It was a solid day for the entire team,” Brewer said. “I was pleased Rinko was able to put up her 3-under 69. That should show her teammates that low scores are out there if you get it going.”

The Bulldogs posted rounds of 8-over 296 and 7-over 295 on Monday. Georgia was tied for third after the morning but climbed two positions in the afternoon.

Coello led Georgia in the first round with an even-par 72, while the Bulldogs also counted a pair of 74s from Paula Neira Garcia and Isabella Skinner and a 76, the score shot by both Rinko Mitsunagaand Elisa Yang.

Coello celebrated her 20th birthday by notching the second par-or-better effort of her collegiate career. She teed off from No. 3 with the shotgun start and birdied No. 4 to move under par. Back-to-back bogeys on No. 5 and No. 6 and another at No. 9 put Coello at 2-over; however, she birdied No. 14 and No. 1 to get back to even.

In the afternoon, Georgia counted Mitsunaga’s 69 as well as 73 from Neira Garcia, a 76 from Coello and a 77. Both Skinner and Yang shot 5-over in the second round.

Mitsunaga teed off from No. 2 and birdied No. 4 and No. 6 to put herself 2-under through five holes. She bogeyed No. 9 but gained that back with a birdie at No. 10. Following a double-bogey at No. 15, Mitsunaga birdied three of her last four holes – No. 16, No. 17 and No. 1.

“I was hitting my irons really good in the afternoon, much better than in the morning,” Mitsunaga said. “I was being more aggressive and had some really short, 2-foot putt for birdies. I was hitting my driver left and right so I was having to hit a lot of recovery shots. I had a double-bogey sort of late but I wasn’t angry. I was able to refocus and make a few birdies after that.”

Colorado State’s Ellen Secor is the individual leader at 3-under 141. Also for Georgia, Skinner is tied for 26th at 151 and Yang and Stephanie Carras, who is competing as an individual, are tied for 36th at 153.

The Bulldogs will tee off from holes No. 1-3 on Tuesday with a shotgun start slated for 10:45 am ET. Live scoring is being updated on a three-hole basis at www.golfstat.com.

The Gold Rush
Eldorado Park Park Golf Course
Long Beach, Calif.
Par 72; 6189 Yards

Monday’s Results

Team Leaderboard
Georgia                         296-295=591
Colorado State                  297-295=592
Brigham Young                   300-293=593
Long Beach State                290-309=599
Sacramento State                302-297=599
UC Irvine                       292-307=599
Idaho                           303-298=601
Fresno State                    296-310=606
Santa Clara                     306-305=611
Boise State                     305-314=619
Cal Poly                        310-312=622
Boston College                  315-312=627
Seattle                         317-318=628
Gonzaga                         310-318=630

Individual Leaderboard
Ellen Secor, Colorado St.       71-70=141
Sophie Hausmann, Idaho          75-69=144
Rinko Mitsunaga, Georgia        76-69=145
Nishtha Madan, Sacramento St.   73-72=145
Paula Neira Garcia, Georgia     74-73=147
Janet Yeo, UC Irvine            72-75=147
Gaby Coello, Georgia            72-76=148
Lexi Perry, Boise St.           73-75=148
Annie Yang, BYU                 75-73=148
Caroline Cantlay, Cal Poly      71-77=148

Additional Georgia Scores
T26. Isabella Skinner          74-77=151
T36. Elisa Yang                76-77=153
*T36. Stephanie Carras          76-77=153

* Carras competing as an individual.