Freshmen Jillian Hollis and Bailey Tardy both posted scores in the 60s to lead the 6th-rank UGA women’s golf team to a 4-under 284 in Friday’s second round of the NCAA Bryan Regional at Traditions Golf Club.
Despite shooting a stroke better than Thursday – and posting Georgia’s second-best team score in NCAA Regional or Championship competition for the second time in as many days – the Bulldogs slipped from first to third on the team leaderboard.
Georgia is currently at 7-under 569, two shots off the pace of No. 11 Arizona and a stroke behind No. 3 Arizona.
The Bulldogs played their first three holes at 4-over before settling in and turning eight shots better than that at 4-under. The hot streak continued on the back side, where Georgia climbed to 8-under through No. 13.
“I know we only shot one shot better than yesterday, but I’m so much prouder of them today,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “I was so impressed with how we handled a little adversity with our slow start. To fight back and shoot 4-under was great and tells us a lot about their mental toughness when things are just a touch off. This should be good for us going forward.”
Hollis and Tardy shot 5-under 67 and 3-under 69, respectively. The Bulldogs also counted a 1-over 73 from Rinko Mitsunaga and a 75, the score posted by both Harang Lee and Mary Ellen Shuman.
Hollis quickly dipped to 4-under through six holes with birdies at No. 2, No. 3, No. 5 and No. 6. She dropped a stroke with her lone bogey of the day at No. 9 but regained that with a birdie at No. 13 and another with a birdie at No. 18.
“I just kept hitting it close and had a lot of short putts,” Hollis said. “My first birdie was a little longer putt, probably about 25 feet, but from there I had a short putt for the second one and two more good putts. I had some trouble at No. 9 with a bad lie and made bogey, but it felt like I made a birdie there from where I was. I finished with a birdie at No. 18 on a downhill, left-to-right putt and that was really cool.”
“I’m really proud of Jillian,” Brewer said. “It was very important for her to start the way she did because we needed someone to make a couple of birdies for us. I think she ignited her teammates and just kept going herself.”
Hollis’ effort was Georgia’s second-best relation-to-par round in NCAA Regional or Championship history. The only better score was Vickie Goetze’s 7-under 65 in the final round of the 1992 NCAA Championships when she surged past Arizona’s Annika Sorenstam to capture national medalist honors.
“It’s a huge honor just to be mentioned with those names,” Hollis said. “I’m just trying to keep getting better and set my own course to try to get where they got to. I’m just going to keep doing this because I love this and try to one day get where they got.”
“To shoot the second-best score in school history with the things that have been done in our program is really impressive,” Brewer said.
Tardy double-bogeyed No. 2 but still turned at 1-under after posting birdies at No. 4, No. 7 and No. 8. She moved to 4-under with a trio of birdies at No. 11, No. 12 and No. 13 but bogeyed No. 16 to finish with her second-straight 3-under mark. That represented Tardy’s team-high 19th par-or-better loop – and seventh score in the 60s – in 28 rounds this season.
“Bailey played another great round for us today, and I know the other three are going to tag along tomorrow and make a lot of birdies too,” Brewer said.
Individually, Hollis third at 7-under 137, two shots off the pace of UCLA’s Bronte Law. Tardy is tied for fourth at 6-under 138, Lee and Mitsunaga both are tied for 39th at 147 and Shuman is tied for 55th at 150.
Trailing the Wildcats, Bruins and Bulldogs and rounding out the top-six teams – those in place to advance to the NCAA Championships are – No. 19 Furman at 574, Texas at 577 and Miami at 578. TCU is four shots back of the Hurricanes, and 13 strokes behind the Bulldogs. Also within striking distance of the cut line are No. 14 Kent State at 583, Campbell at 584, Tulane at 585 and Louisville at 586. Regional host and No. 23-ranked Texas A&M is next at 593, 15 shots from the current cut.
The Bulldogs will be paired with Arizona and UCLA for Saturday’s final round and are slated to tee off in waves from 10:50-11:30 ET. Live scoring is being updated on a hole-by-hole basis at golfstat.com.
The top-six teams – and top-three individuals who are not members of an advancing team – will qualify to compete in the NCAA Championships on May 20-25 at the Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Oregon.
NCAA WOMEN’S GOLF TOURNAMENT
BRYAN, TEXAS REGIONAL
Traditions Golf Club
Par 72; 6373 Yards
Kent State 298-285=583
Texas A&M 292-301=593
Texas State 296-304=600
Bronte Law, UCLA 69-66=135
Bianca Pagdanganan, Gonzaga 67-69=136
Jillian Hollis, Georgia 70-67=137
Bailey Tardy, Georgia 69-69=138
Hannah Wood, Oklahoma 72-66=138
Dewi Weber, Miami 70-69=139
Krystal Quihuis, Arizona 71-68=139
Olivia Cason, Louisville 71-69=140
Daniela Darquea, Miami 68-73=141
Julia Beck, Texas 70-71=141
Lindsey Weaver, Arizona 72-69=141
Lilia Vu, UCLA 70-71=141
Hayley Harford, Furman 71-70=141
Laura Lonardi, Baylor 75-66=141
Alessandra Liu, William & Mary 69-72=141
Additional Georgia Scores
T39. Harang Lee, Georgia 72-75=147
T39. Rinko Mitsunaga, Georgia 74-73=147
T55. Mary Ellen Shuman, Georgia 75-75=150