The Georgia women’s golf team will open NCAA Regional play on Thursday at the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas. The Bulldogs are among 18 teams competing for six spots in the field for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon from May 20-25.
Georgia NCAA Regional Notes
May 5-7, 2016
Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas
Par 72, 6242/6373 Yards
“We haven’t even talked about that yet,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “We’re going out there trying to win. We’re going to play like we have all year. It seems like every final round this season, we’ve had a chance to win the golf tournament. If we do that, it’s going to be an enjoyable, relaxed Saturday afternoon.”
The 54-hole event will be contested on Thursday, Friday and Saturday on the same par-72, 6242/6373-yard layout that hosted the 2011 NCAA Championships (when Georgia’s Marta Silva Zamora captured National Player of the Year honors).
The Bulldogs will be paired with UCLA and Arizona on Thursday, teeing off in waves from 10:50-11:30 am ET. Live scoring will be updated on a hole-by-hole basis at golfstat.com.
Georgia, which is currently No. 4 and No. 6 in the Golfweek and Golfstat national rankings, is the No. 2 seed in the field. The Bulldogs have won four team titles this season, their most since capturing a school-record seven crowns en route to an NCAA runner-up finish in 1999.
UCLA is the top seed. The Bruins are No. 1 and No. 3 in the Golfweek and Golfstat ledgers, respectively. The remaining teams in the field, in seeded order, are Arizona, Kent State, Furman, Texas A&M, TCU, Texas, SMU, Louisville, Miami (Fla.), Tulane, Campbell, Indiana, Texas State, Delaware, Lamar and Quinnipiac.
Georgia is a combined 14-3-1 against teams in the Regional field. The Bulldogs are: 3-0 vs. Louisville; 2-0 vs. Kent State, Furman, Tulane and Indiana; 1-0 vs. TCU and Texas State; 0-1 vs. Texas A&M; 1-0-1 vs. Arizona and 0-2 vs. UCLA.
The playing five for this weekend will consist of Jillian Hollis, Harang Lee, Bailey Tardy, Rinko Mitsunaga and Mary Ellen Shuman.
“I think what we’re trying to do is just think of this as another tournament,” Mitsunaga said. “Obviously, Regionals is a little different because we’re trying to qualify (for NCAAs), but we’ve been playing so well all year that if all of us play the way we have been, we’ll be good.”
Shuman, a junior from St. Simons Island, Georgia, earned the fifth spot in the lineup by winning a four-player qualifier. Key to her victory was a 4-under 68 in the next-to-last round.
“I’m really excited, but I think my parents might be a little more excited than I am,” Shuman joked. “It’s really special. The `G’ means a lot to me. Playing for Georgia is something that I’ve always wanted to do. To represent it on the national stage is huge for me.”
The Bulldogs’ lineup will feature a trio of freshmen in Hollis, Mitsunaga and Tardy. They have combined to produce all three of Georgia’s individual wins this season, as well as 15 top-10s, 21 top-20s and 34 par-or-better rounds.
“Although we’ve never played in the NCAAs, before, we’ve played in enough golf tournaments throughout our whole careers that we’re capable of treating this like any other tournament,” Mitsunaga said. “It’s going to be fun, and I’m really excited.”
Positive signs have surrounded the Bulldogs since the season began.
Georgia has captured seven titles – four team and three individual. That’s the most since winning 10 – seven team and three individual – during the 1999 NCAA runner-up campaign.
The route to that success has been diverse.
Georgia used three different lineups during the four team victories. This season also marked the first time three different Bulldogs captured medalist honors since UGA’s 2001 NCAA Championship season.
UGA’s Record-Setting Page
The Bulldogs’ season has been littered with record-setting performances in virtually every team and individual category.
Georgia is on pace to shatter its season stroke average record. The Bulldogs enter the NCAA Regional with a 288.96 mark that is more than five full strokes per round better than the current record of 294.50 in 2006-07.
During the 2015-16 campaign, Georgia has posted par-or-better team scores in six of 10 its tournaments. By comparison, the Bulldogs shot par or better on six occasions during their first 35 seasons – and 413 tournaments – of intercollegiate competition.
In the process, the Bulldogs have posted three of the top-5 team scores in school history and their lowest single round ever, a 13-under 275 at the Mason Rudolph Championship.
Individually, Bailey Tardy, Harang Lee and Jillian Hollis sport stroke averages that would rank No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, among Georgia’s all-time top-10 efforts.
Tardy broke the school record for best tournament score with a 12-under 204 at the Windy City Collegiate last fall. Hollis then came within a stroke of equaling that mark during her victory at the Mountain View Collegiate this spring.
Seven different Bulldogs have posted par-or-better rounds this season. All told, Georgia has 55 individual and 12 team POB loops. Such depth has provided the Bulldogs with confidence individually.
“We have had so much confidence all year,” Hollis said. “Having that attitude is really good for us, especially going into the postseason.”
Quartet Of UGA Golfers Secure SEC Accolades
Bailey Tardy was named SEC Freshman of the Year on Tuesday, headlining a long list of accolades awarded to four members of the Georgia women’s golf team.
Jillian Hollis, Harang Lee and Rinko Mitsunaga also earned SEC honors.
Tardy also was named first-team All-SEC and to the SEC All-Freshman team. Lee was tabbed first-team All-SEC. Hollis secured both second-team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman recognition. Mitsunaga was featured on the SEC All-Freshman unit.
Tardy leads the Bulldogs in both stroke average and par-or-better rounds.
Tardy is Georgia’s eighth SEC Freshman of the Year honoree all time, joining Tina Paternostro (1989), Luciana Bemvenuti (1991), Vicki Goetze (1992), Erin O’Neil (1994), Shauna Estes (1997), Rankin (1998), Taylor Leon (2006) and Marta Silva Zamora (2009).
Lee sports a team-best 10 top-20 finishes in 11 tournaments played this season.
Hollis has a 72.56 average, including a team-low 6-under 66.
Mitsunaga won the Lady Bulldog Individual Championship in February.
The Bulldogs’ History In National Championships
The University of Georgia has been one of the nation’s premier women’s college golf programs for more than three decades.
The Bulldogs have posted 20 top-10 and 25 top-20 team finishes at AIAW and NCAA Championships since 1979, including winning the 2001 NCAA title.
In addition to the team success, three Bulldogs have claimed individual national titles.
Terri Moody earned medalist honors at the 1981 AIAW Championships at the UGA Golf Course, while Cindy Schreyer and Vicki Goetze took home individual crowns at the 1984 and 1992 NCAA Championships, respectively.
Twenty Georgia golfers have combined to record 36 top-20 individual finishes at the national championships.
Since the NCAA went to a Regional format in 1993, Georgia also has claimed three East team titles (1993, 1998 and 1999) and one individual crown (Reilley Rankin in 1998).
Tardy Gets Curtis Cup Nod
Bailey Tardy has been selected to represent the United States in the 2016 Curtis Cup on June 10-12 at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club in Enniskerry, Ireland.
“I think it’s everyone’s goal to compete on the national level,” Tardy said. “To be able to go over to Ireland and compete on their soil is one of the things I’m most excited about. I know all the girls on the U.S. team, and I know it’s going to be so much fun playing with them against Great Britain and Ireland.”
The Curtis Cup is a biennial contest between amateur women golfers from the U.S. and Great Britain and Ireland.
Tardy, who is currently No. 10 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings, will be Georgia Golf’s seventh representative in the Curtis Cup, following Americans Terri Moody (1980), Cindy Schreyer (1986), Vicki Goetze (1992 and 1994), Angela Jerman (2002) and Taylor Leon (2006). In addition, former Bulldog Krystle Caithness played for the GB&I in the 2008 Curtis Cup.
SEC Weekly Winners
Jillian Hollis, Harang Lee and Bailey Tardy have earned SEC weekly accolades this spring.
Hollis and Tardy swept Player and Freshman of the Week, respectively, on March 22 following the Mountain View Collegiate. Hollis won the event, while Tardy finished third.
Lee was named co-Player of the Week on April 7 after finishing second in stroke play and posting a 3-0 match play record in the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic.
Brick Named A ”Peach”
Sylvie Brick was named “Peach of an Athlete” by the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts at its annual Role Model Banquet. The banquet honors a professional individual and athlete and 10 college athletes. Brick was the overall female “Peach of an Athlete.”
“Sylvie has used her opportunities as a UGA student-athlete to full benefit,” Josh Brewer said. “She embraced it and ran with it. Sylvie has led community outreach not only for women’s golf but for all UGA student-athletes. She came here with a mission and a goal to make sure she was prepared for life after college, and she’s done just that.”