The sixth-ranked Georgia women’s golf team fired off a 1-under-par 287 in the opening round of the SEC Championships at the Greystone Golf and Country on Friday. That score places the Bulldogs in a tie for fifth place and only five shots back off the lead.
Senior Harang Lee posted the Bulldogs’ low score, a 3-under 69. Individually, Lee is tied for fourth and just a stroke off the pace of co-leaders Katelyn Dambaugh from South Carolina, Alexandra Farnsworth from Vanderbilt and Alana Uriell of Arkansas.
“It was a great start,” Lee said. “I thought today would be a great day for a really good round. My game was almost on-point. I got a little frustrated because I had so many opportunities to have an amazing round, but I couldn’t finish. We still have two more days and there’s a lot we can do in two days. We have the talent on our team. We just have to go day by day and see what the future holds for us.”
The Bulldogs also counted a pair of even-par 72s from Jillian Hollis and Bailey Tardy and a 74 from Mary Ellen Shuman. Rinko Mitsunaga’s 76 was Georgia’s drop score. Individually, Hollis and Tardy are tied for 19th, Shuman is tied for 36th and Mitsunaga is tied for 52nd.
“It was exciting to see both our seniors open the SEC Championships and postseason play that way,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “Harang played very well, and Mary Ellen, playing in her first SECs, gave us a very good score. Those are the type of rounds you want from your seniors.”
Georgia was atop the team leaderboard for a while. The Bulldogs were 5-under through 12 holes before falling off that mark late in the day.
“It was nice that you look and through 11-12-13 holes and see everyone around par or under,” Brewer said. “That keeps everyone fighting. I think the players, even though they can’t see it, they sense it. It also tells me that everyone is playing well. Would I have liked to make a few more birdies coming in? Yes, but we’re in a good position.”
Lee started hot with birdies at No. 2 and No. 3.
“It was nice, but that can make you a little impatient and try to make more and more birdies,” Lee said. “I tried to stay patient. With golf, you never know what is going to happen out there.”
Lee bogeyed No. 5 but turned to 2-under following a birdie at No. 9. She moved to 4-under with back-to-back birdies at No. 11 and No. 12 but gave one of those back with her second bogey of the day at No. 17.
No. 20 Texas A&M grabbed the team lead by shooting 6-under 282. No. 13 Arkansas is second at 283, followed by No. 8 Florida at 284, No. 11 South Carolina at 286; the Bulldogs, Vanderbilt and Tennessee all at 287; Kentucky at 291; LSU at 294; No. 1 Alabama and Mississippi State at 295; Ole Miss at 296; Auburn at 300; and Missouri at 302.
Georgia will be paired with the Volunteers for Saturday’s second round, teeing off between 11:56-12:28 ET. Live scoring is available via golfstat.com.
“We’ve been playing well for six or seven weeks,” Brewer said. “We just want to continue that. Come Sunday, we’d like to be in the final pairing and have a chance in the final nine holes to bring home a trophy to Athens.”
SEC Women’s Golf Championships
Greystone Golf & Country Club
Par 72; 6202 Yards
RESULTS FROM FRIDAY’S FIRST-ROUND
Texas A&M 282
South Carolina 286
Mississippi St. 295
Ole Miss 296
Katelyn Dambaugh, S. Carolina 68
Alexandra Farnsworth, Vanderbilt 68
Alana Uriell, Arkansas 68
Harang Lee, Georgia 69
Maddie Szeryk, Texas A&M 69
Anna Newell, Tennessee 69
Maria Torres, Florida 70
Bianca Fabrizio, Texas A&M. 70
Courtney Zeng, Vanderbilt 70
Ana Pelaez, S. Carolina 70
Grace Rose, Kentucky 70
Additional Georgia Scores
T19. Jillian Hollis, Georgia 72
T19. Bailey Tardy, Georgia 72
T36. Mary Ellen Shuman, Georgia 74
T52. Rinko Mitsunaga, Georgia 76