ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia women’s golf team will look to continue its hot start to the spring campaign this weekend when they face a challenging field at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate. The Bulldogs, who won their 2018 calendar opener three weeks ago in Long Beach, Calif., will compete from Friday-Sunday at the Long Cove Club on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
“I am excited to tee it up again,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “The work ethic has been great since our win. We’ve been given another opportunity to see where we stand in women’s golf. We’re definitely seeing our strengths, but we’re also going to get to see some areas that we can improve and clean up before the end of the season.”
Four Bulldogs posted top-10 individual finishes to lead Georgia to the team title at The Gold Rush in Long Beach. In fact, those four golfers secured the playing spots in the lineup for this weekend with those performances. Paula Neira Garcia and Rinko Mitsuanga tied for third, Isabella Skinner tied for fifth and Gabriela Coello tied for seventh.
“It is a first for me to have four players finish in the top 10, and I think it says a lot about how hard the players have been working,” Brewer said. “But it’s golf and finishing in the top 10 every week is difficult. Your main goal is always to play as well as you can and just hope to get better and that’s our goal this weekend.”
Rounding out the Bulldogs’ playing five in Hilton Head is Jillian Hollis, a two-time All-American who did not play in California due to a slight injury.
Georgia will face a stiffer field this weekend than the Bulldogs saw in California.
Half of the 18-team field is ranked among the nation’s top 20, with six top-10 squads. No. 2 Alabama is the top-ranked entrant followed by No. 3 Arkansas, No. 5 Duke, No. 6 Arizona State, No. 8 South Carolina, No. 9 Furman, No. 13 Northwestern, No. 14 Oklahoma State and No. 17 Virginia. Rounding out the competing teams are Auburn, Baylor, the Bulldogs, LSU, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
“We went to Long Beach and since we are Georgia believed we truly had a good chance to win,” Brewer said. “That puts pressure on you, but we handled it and did win. This is a field where tournaments give you a barometer for where you stand going back into the end of the spring season and the championship. We just want to learn about ourselves and learn how to make the team better.”
The Bulldogs will be paired with Duke and Arkansas for Friday’s opening round. Live scoring will be available via www.golfstat.com.