Four Lady Bulldog golfers – Jillian Hollis, Rinko Mitsunaga and Bailey Tardy and incoming freshman Stephanie Carras – will compete in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships today and are among 156 golfers who have qualified for the 2017 Am at the San Diego Country Club.
“It is an honor to have half of our roster competing in our country’s national championship,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “We have a very talented team, and this shows the depth we have created inside our program.”
Tardy was first to earn a bid to the Am, receiving an exemption into the field as a member of the U.S. team for the 2016 Curtis Cup.
Mitsunaga joined her by shooting 69 and tying for medalist honors at the Ansley Golf Club’s Settingdown Creek Course in Roswell, Ga., on June 27.
Hollis reached the Am by winning a three-for-one playoff at a qualifier at Walnut Grove Country Club in Dayton, Ohio on July 6.
Carras was originally the second alternate from a June 28 qualifier at Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., but later was added to the field for San Diego.
Brewer will perform double-duty this week, caddying for Mitsunaga, who will be competing in her fifth straight U.S. Women’s Am.
“I am excited to caddy for Rinko,” Brewer said. “It is always a privilege when a player asks you to be on the bag. It shows how much trust and equity we have built over the years. It is also a good role reversal since she will be the one giving me orders all week!”
Additionally, Brewer will get an up-close look at Carras, who is paired with Mitsunaga for stroke play on Monday and Tuesday.
“Stephanie and Rinko being paired together is an added bonus,” Brewer said. “Being able to see Stephanie from inside the ropes will definitely help me gain a greater knowledge of her game. She should be full of confidence, too, after her great play at the U.S. Girls’.”
Carras reached the second round of match play at the U.S. Girls’ Junior in Augusta, Mo., last month.
On Monday, Tardy will tee off from No. 1 at 10:10 am ET, Hollis will tee off from No. 1 at 11:10 am ET and Carras and Mitsunaga will tee off from No. 10 at noon ET.
Another Georgia golfer has already won her country’s national am earlier this summer. Incoming freshman Paula Neira Garcia shot 9-under en route to a seven-shot victory at the Spanish Am in June.
Georgia golfers have combined to win five USGA Championships, including Mitsunaga doing so at the inaugural Women’s Four-Ball Championship in 2015. Vicki Goetze won the U.S. Women’s Am in both 1989 and 1992, Martha (Stacy) Leach won the 2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur and Sherry (Kamens) Herman won the 2009 U.S. Women’s Senior. Earlier this summer, 2017 Georgia seniors Sammi Lee and Mary Ellen Shuman teamed up to advance to the championship match of the Women’s Four-Ball.