The Georgia women’s golf team will begin the 2018 calendar portion of its season on Monday when the Bulldogs open play at The Gold Rush. The 54-hole tournament hosted by Long Beach State at the El Dorado Park Golf Course will feature 36 holes on Monday and the final round on Tuesday.
“It feels like it has been an extremely long offseason,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “We’re excited to see where we are at the start of the spring as we build to the championship part of our season. We’re excited and ready to go. We just need to be patient. You can’t win the tournament on the first day or the first hole. If we take care of our business and play like we know we’re capable of playing, we should have a chance to get our first win of the season on Tuesday.”
The Bulldogs are among 14 teams in the field. Also competing are Boise State, Boston College, Brigham Young, Cal Poly, Colorado State, Fresno State, Gonzaga, Idaho, Long Beach State, Sacramento State, Santa Clara, Seattle and UC Irvine.
Freshman Elisa Yang secured the top spot in Georgia’s lineup during qualifying. Rounding out the playing five are senior Isabella Skinner, freshman Paula Neira Garcia, junior Rinko Mitsunaga and sophomore Gabriela Coello. In addition, freshman Stephanie Carras will compete as an individual.
“Elisa opened qualifying with a 4-under 68 and played well throughout,” Brewer said. “Bella was really consistent. We had some really good individual rounds throughout. We had a really good day of practice out here so we’re ready to go.
Skinner is eager for the spring season to start.
“I am so excited,” Skinner said. “I can’t believe it’s the first, last spring tournament of my career.”
She spent much of the break after the fall campaign focusing on her game around the greens.
“I’ve always known my short game is an area where I needed to improve,” Skinner said. “I think my approach game and my long game are there. I’m accurate. I put a ton of work in on putting and continued to do the work I did on chipping. I’m starting to see an improvement in my putting, which is exciting. The more putts you make, the lower your scores. I’m focused on keeping that consistent.”
Monday’s two rounds will begin with a shotgun start at 10:45 ET. The Bulldogs will paired with Long Beach State and Brigham Young, teeing off on holes No. 1-3. Live scoring will be available at http://www.golfstat.com.