The eight-ranked Georgia women’s golf team will host the NCAA Athens Regional of the 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships. Georgia is among 18 teams and six individuals set to compete from Monday, May 8th through Wednesday, May 10th at the University of Georgia Golf Course looking to earn a spot in the field for the NCAA Championships.
“First of all, it’s a great honor to have a NCAA Championship come to Athens and for us to be able to host on our home golf course,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “I think it says a lot about what the NCAA and college golf thinks about our facilities.”
Georgia is seeded second in the Regional field. No. 2 Alabama is the top seed. Following the Bulldogs in seeded order are No. 11 Northwestern, No. 14 Arizona, No. 19 Baylor and No. 22 Wake Forest, UCF, Tennessee, North Carolina, Clemson, Augusta, Auburn, Kansas State, Michigan State, Troy, Princeton, North Florida and Quinnipiac.
The golfers competing as individuals are: Chieh Jessica Peng, Mississippi State; Laura Fuenfstueck, College of Charleston; Lisa Pettersson, East Carolina; Vanessa Ha, San Francisco; Alexandra Farnsworth, Vanderbilt; and Anna Redding, Virginia.
The top-six teams and the three individuals wih the lowest scored who are not members of those teams will advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be May 19-24 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Hills, Ill., outside Chicago.
The Bulldogs have played their best golf of the season of late. In the last three events of the spring, Georgia finished as runner-up at both the SEC Championships and the Bryan National Collegiate. Sandwiched between those tourneys, the Bulldogs won both the medal round and match play portions of the 45th annual Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic.
“Since spring break, we’ve been playing maybe as good as anyone in the country,” Brewer said. ” We have a veteran group, even through there are three sophomores in our lineup. We’ve planned for this and they’ve built their games around peaking now, kind of like a Tour player does for majors. That shows what kind of a special group this is that they are able to do that.”
Georgia’s playing five for the Regional will include seniors Harang Lee and Mary Ellen Shuman and sophomores Jillian Hollis, Rinko Mitsunaga and Mary Ellen Shuman.
Brewer believes there are certainly advantages and disadvantages to hosting the Regional in Athens.
“The advantage is that we know the golf course and probably have played it really in every condition imaginable,” Brewer said. “From that end, there should be no surprises as far as green speeds or basic course set up.
“The negatives could be all the extras since we are at home, all the additional fans and family members,” Brewer added. “You add to that the piece of graduation for our seniors. But you can’t worry about that. There are many years when seniors miss graduation due to Regionals, so for our seniors to be able to take part in one of the most important pieces of the college experience is something I’m very thankful for. At the end of the day, I trust them to be ready for those three days.”
For the complete NCAA Regional Notes, CLICK HERE. And for live scoring, CLICK HERE.