[break] The Georgia women’s golf team will christen the 2015 team portion of its schedule this weekend when the Bulldogs compete in the Lady Puerto Rico Classic in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. The 54-hole event will be contested from Sunday-Tuesday at the Wyndham Rio Mar Resort & Country Club.
[break] [break] “We’re very excited,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “It gives us a chance to see where we stand.”
[break] [break] Georgia hosted the one-day, 36-hole Lady Bulldog Individual Championship at the UGA Golf Course last Saturday, with all nine Bulldog golfers taking part. Junior Manuela Carbajo Ré earned medalist honors after finishing the day at 2-over 146. All five golfers in this weekend’s lineup recorded top-20 finishes last weekend, with Harang Lee tying for sixth, Amira Alexander tying for ninth, Rocio Sanchez Lobato tying for 16th and Isabella Skinner tying for 19th.
[break] [break] “We’ve practiced well and played well the second round of the Lady Bulldog so we’re going down there with some confidence,” Brewer said. “The way we qualify, I always feel like we’re taking our best five because it’s the people of have been playing the best leading up. The key for us is to get back to where we were at the start of last fall where we were throwing out a 4-over or a 3-over and eliminating those scores that were 5- or 6-over. We’re going to have two or three really good scores. We have that kind of talent and we’re deep enough. Now, it’s just getting that back-end score to come down a few shots. If that happens, I expect us have a chance to win come next Tuesday.”
[break] [break] Carbajo Ré shot a 2-under 70 in her second loop last weekend en route to a two-shot victory.
[break] [break] “The victory last weekend made me a lot more confident,” Carbajo Ré said. “I was thinking in the present all the time. Even though I didn’t play really good in the morning, I just kept thinking positive and in the present. I think that’s why I had such a good score in the afternoon.
[break] [break] “This weekend is going to be like any tournament or practice or practice round. I’m just going to try to do the best I can,” she added. “I think the key to team success is a bunch of great individuals. If we all focus on what we have to do, we’re going to be good.”
[break] [break] Alexander, who now lives in Alpharetta, Ga., has represented the U.S. Virgin Islands, her parents’ home, in several international events over the past year. She believes those experiences may come into play this weekend.
[break] [break] “I’m definitely very excited to play and play in warm weather,” Alexander said. “I think we all need to be patient and keep positive spirits. The climate is different than what we’ve been playing in here lately. There’s a lot of wind since it’s an island. It’s a different type of wind because of the ocean. It’s a little bit stronger than the wind here and it can be deceiving at times so it can be a factor.”
[break] [break] Harang Lee was the Bulldogs’ top individual finisher at last year’s Lady Puerto Rico when she tied for 13th.
[break] [break] “I remember every single hole,” Lee said. “I know what I can do better this time and the things I learned from last year. I’m super excited. The clue to our team success is in putting. I think everyone is able to hit the ball really well. Putting is the clue for this course.”
[break] [break] The Bulldogs enter the spring at No. 45 in the Golfstat rankings. The 15-team field features two top-10 and five top-25 squads. No. 4 Arkansas headlines the list of participants, which also includes No. 7 Northwestern, No. 18 N.C. State, No. 20 LSU and No. 21 Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Regents, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kent State, Michigan, Purdue and TCU.
[break] [break] Play each day will begin with a shotgun start. Rounds on Sunday and Monday will begin at 7 a.m. ET, while the final round will tee off at 6:30 a.m. ET. Live scoring will be available throughout the tournament at www.birdiefire.com.