Georgia wrapped up a dominating performance at The Gold Rush on Tuesday, winning the team title by 23 shots and taking three of the top-four spots on the individual leaderboard at Old Ranch Country Club.
The Bulldogs closed with a 7-under 281 and wrapped up the 54-hole event at 1-under 863.
Individually, freshman Céleste Dao captured medalist honors after finishing at 7-under 209, a stroke better than classmate Caterina Don. Sophomore Jo Hua Hung finished fourth at 1-under 215.
“It was a great round of golf, one of the best 18 holes in school history,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “It was a special day made even better by the way we closed. I think we played our best golf over the final nine holes today. That says a lot about this team and its potential going forward.”
Georgia’s team tally on Tuesday equaled the sixth-best round in school history, and the tournament score was the Bulldogs’ 10th-best ever. Dao and Don equaled the fourth- and fifth-best individual tournament scores in program history, respectively.
The Bulldogs’ team showing could have been even more impressive. Dao finished sixth in the team’s qualifying rounds for California and was actually competing individually. Therefore, her scores did not count toward Georgia’s team total.
On Tuesday, Don led the Bulldogs with a 5-under 67, while Hung added a 2-under 70 and Jenny Bae and Candice Mahe both posted even-par 72s.
Overall, Mahe tied for 10th at 5-over 221, and Bae and Caroline Craig both tied for 21st at 10-over 226.
“We’ve had back to back highly rated recruiting classes and individually, their resumes are very, very impressive,” Brewer said. “We knew this was coming. Hat’s off to them for doing what they did today as a team and showing off our depth too, with Céleste winning while competing as an individual.”
Don’s day featured six birdies and one bogey. She opened with a birdie at No. 1 and turned at 2-under after birdies at No. 5 and No. 6 and a bogey at No. 8. On the back side, Don made a run for the individual title with birdies No. 12, No. 16 and No. 18, but she came up a stroke shy of her teammate.
Dao teed off from No. 15 with a shotgun start and opened with four straight pars before the “turn.” She blistered the front side to the tune of 6-under, with a birdie at No. 2, an eagle at No. 4 and successive birdies at No. 7, No. 8 and No. 9. Dao gave back a couple of those shots with bogeys at No. 10 and No. 12 to finish at 4-under on the day.
Georgia will return to action next weekend when the Bulldogs compete in the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate at Long Cove Club in Hilton Head, S.C.
“We came out here to win,” Brewer said. “Not being arrogant, but we should win this tournament. Now we get the chance to go play against an elite, national-level field at the Darius Rucker. We believe we’re much better than our golfstat ranking (No. 38) right now, and the Darius Rucker gives us a chance to prove that. We’re excited about the opportunity to go there and compete with the best teams in the country. We believe we should be ranked with them.”
The Gold Rush
Old Ranch Country Club
Seal Beach, Calif.
Par 72, 6169 Yards
Tuesday’s Final-Round Results
Fresno State 291-292-303=886
Long Beach State 299-297-299=895
Brigham Young 303-297-299=898
Sacramento State 297-302-302=901
New Mexico State 307-300-296=903
Santa Clara 312-307-319=935
UC Irvine 307-309-319=938
Boston College 313-313-321=947
Céleste Dao, Georgia 71-70-68=209
Caterina Don, Georgia 72-71-67=210
Harriet Lynch, Fresno St. 73-69-72=214
Jo Hua Hung, Georgia 70-75-70=215
Maria Davis, Long Beach St. 77-74-68=219
Allysha Mae Mateo, BYU 78-68-73=219
Annabelle Ackroyd, Minnesota 73-74-73=220
Hannah Ko, Long Beach St. 73-73-74=220
Tess Blair, Sacramento St. 74-73-73=220
Candice Mahe, Georgia 72-77-72=221
Grace Curran, Minnesota 71-77-73=221
Kristin Simonsen, Fresno St. 73-72-76=221
Maddie Riggs, UC Irvine 72-72-77=221
Additional Georgia Scores
T21. Caroline Craig 73-74-79=226
T21. Jenny Bae 79-75-72=226