The Bulldogs completed the day at 14-under 562, two shots ahead of No. 6 Northwestern. Tardy was 7-under 137 over her two loops at the Westmoreland Country Club and is tied with Northwestern’s Hannah Kim entering Tuesday’s final round.
“Some times when you play 36, you’re ready for the day to end,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “The way we played today, I would have voted to play 45 or even 54. We obviously played very well, with eight rounds of par or better on the day. That just tells you the depth that we have on this team. I’m very proud of them and the fact that they’ve been working so hard and it’s paying off.”
Georgia carded rounds of 4-under 284 and 10-under 278. No. 1 Southern Cal led the Bulldogs and Northwestern by a stroke following the opening round; however, Georgia’s afternoon effort – which equaled the third-best score in program history – vaulted the Bulldogs into first.
In the morning, Georgia counted a pair of 2-under 70s from Tardy and Harang Lee, a 1-under 71 from Jillian Hollis and a 1-over 73 from Rinko Mitsunaga.
The Bulldogs’ 10-under tally in the afternoon was comprised of a 5-under 67 from Tardy, 2-under 70s from Hollis and Lee and a 1-under 71 from Isabella Skinner. Georgia dropped Mitsunaga’s even-par 72, the second time this season the Bulldogs have discarded a par-or-better mark.
Overall, Tardy and Kim are two shots ahead of the quartet of Linnea Strom of Arizona State, Jessica Vasilic of Arizona, Stephanie Lau of Northwestern and Karen Chung of Southern Cal. Also for Georgia, Lee is tied for seventh at 4-under 140, Hollis is tied for 12th at 3-under 141, Mitsunaga is tied for 31st at 1-over 145 and Skinner is tied for 52nd at 4-over 148.
“I didn’t see Bailey today so I can’t take any of the credit,” Brewer joked. “She said she hit a lot of good iron shots and made a lot of putts. She made 12 birdies. That’s one out of every three holes. You have to make putts to do that, but I think she did stayed patient and made putts at the right time.”
Trailing the Bulldogs and Wildcats and rounding out the top 10 teams are No. 1 Southern Cal at 566, No. 20 Oklahoma State at 569, No. 3 Arizona at 571, Arizona State at 573, Ohio State at 579, No. 14 Iowa State at 581, No. 18 Florida at 583 and Tulane and No. 8 Purdue both at 585.
Two weeks ago, the Bulldogs held the 36-hole lead at the Mason Rudolph Championship before slipping to third in the final standings.
“Two weeks ago when we led after the second round in Nashville we were very excited,” Brewer said. “Today, we were very business like. It was like today was a practice round. I think we learned something from the disappointment we had at the Mason Rudolph. If we just continue to play like we played today then we ought to be in a good position coming down to the final holes tomorrow. That’s all you really want when you’re playing against elite teams.”
Georgia will be paired with the Wildcats and Women of Troy for Tuesday’s final round, teeing off between 10:00-10:36 am ET. Live scoring is being updated on a three-hole basis atwww.golfstat.com.