The Georgia women’s golf team, which is ranked No. 10 by Golfstat and No. 13 by Golfweek in each organization’s most recent polls, will open play at the Southeastern Conference Championships on Wednesday morning at Greystone Golf and Country Club just outside Birmingham, Ala.
The Bulldogs will be paired with Arkansas and Auburn for the opening round. The tournament will feature 54 holes of stroke play through Friday followed a cut to eight teams for match play. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested Saturday, with the championship match televised live on the SEC Network on Sunday from 8:30-1:00.
“With everything we’ve going through the last 14 months – the meetings we had over the summer to make sure we even had a season – we’re extremely excited about competing in the SEC Championships,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “This is where you want to be. To get to this point is very exciting, and we’re ready to go out and represent the University of Georgia as we go out and start this five-week gauntlet of three postseason tournaments – the most important tournaments of the year.”
Last year’s SEC Championships were canceled – along with everything else in the sports world – on March 12. On September 1, the league announced golf would be contested on a limited basis in the fall. This spring, teams have played what would be considered a relatively regular schedule.
Following SECs, NCAA Regionals will be contested May 10-12 in Baton Rouge, La.; Louisville, Ky.; Columbus, Ohio; and Stanford, Calif., with the top-6 teams from each site advancing to the NCAA Championships on May 21-26 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“You show up and you don’t take anything for granted – the practice at the course, the practice round, anything,” Brewer said. “In today’s world, you truly don’t know what tomorrow may bring. We’re going to enjoy this. They still want the pressure. That’s part of it. At the same time, we’re going into this week with the goal of getting a Sunday tee time with the opportunity to bring home a title. But, we’re definitely going to enjoy the journey along the way.”
Georgia’s lineup for the SECs will feature seniors Gabriela Coello and Alison Crenshaw, juniors Jenny Bae, Jo Hua Hung and freshman Isabella Holpfer.
Bae, Coello and Hung all were in the Bulldogs’ lineup at the most recent SEC Championships in 2019. That year, Georgia finished fifth in stroke play and defeated Vanderbilt, 3-2, in the quarterfinals before falling to eventual SEC Champion Ole Miss, 3-2, in dramatic fashion in the semifinals.
The Rebels led 2-1 when play was suspended due to darkness on Saturday. On Sunday morning, Hung clinched her match before Ole Miss’ Macy Somoskey topped Rinko Mitsunaga on the 21st hole of the decisive matchup.
The Bulldogs have enjoyed a solid campaign in 2020-21. Georgia has recorded top-five team finishes in five of eight tournaments, including third-place showings at both the Liz Murphey Fall Collegiate Classic and the LTWF Heroes Intercollegiate. Individually, Bulldog golfers have combined to notch 30 par-or-better rounds and 15 individual top-20 performances this season.
The field for SECs is as it traditionally is stacked with many of the nation’s premier teams and golfers. Seven of the league’s 14 schools are featured in the top-25 of the most recent versions of both the Golfstat and Golfweek rankings, while another is in one top-25 and No. 26 in the other.
Last week’s Golfstat ledger featured South Carolina at No. 1, LSU at No. 4, Ole Miss at No. 6, Auburn at No. 9, the Bulldogs at No. 10, Arkansas at No. 16, Alabama at No. 24 and Florida at No. 25.
In this week’s Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, South Carolina is No. 1, Ole Miss is No. 4, LSU is No. 10, Auburn is No. 11, Arkansas is No. 12, the Bulldogs are No. 13 and Florida is No. 21.
Individually, six SEC golfers are featured in the top-20 nationally by either Golfstat and/or Golfweek, with three featured in the top-10 of both rankings.
UGA’s SEC Championships History
Georgia has captured a league-leading 19 SEC Women’s Golf Championships all-time. The Bulldogs have won 11 team titles and eight medalist honors.
Florida ranks second with 18 conference championships, nine team and nine individual titles, while Auburn ranks third with 15 crowns, nine team and six individual.
The Bulldogs, Gators and Tigers have combined to capture 52 of the 78 all-time Southeastern Conference titles in women’s golf. The other 11 league schools have captured the other 26 (10 team and 16 individual).