Georgia’s Bailey Tardy, a freshman on the UGA women’s golf team, has been named to the watch lists for both PING National Player of the Year and Division I Freshman of the Year by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA). Tardy is one of four golfers on the Player of the Year ledger and one of five Freshman of the Year candidates. She is the only player featured on both lists.
“It’s a great honor to be named to the watch lists for Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “The fact that Bailey is the only player on both is a good indicator of the type of season she has had. She has handled the transition to college golf so well. Some times you wonder how the the adjustment of being a student-athlete at the college level will go, but Bailey has been successful in both areas.”
Tardy sports a 71.90 stroke average and has cumulatively shot exactly even-par over 29 rounds. In 11 events, Tardy has recorded victories at the Windy City Collegiate Classic and the NCAA Bryan Regional, as well as six top-5, eight top-10 and 10 top-20 finishes. She broke the Georgia record for best tournament score by shooting 12-under 204 to win the Windy City Collegiate in the fall.
A native of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, and a Norcross High School graduate, Tardy leads the Bulldogs in stroke average (71.90), counting percentage (95.2), par-or-better rounds (20) and birdies (110).
Tardy, who was named SEC Freshman of the Year and first-team All-SEC last week, is currently No. 3 and No. 4 in the Golfweek and Golfstat individual national rankings. She also is No. 9 in this week’s edition of the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Since the awards’ inceptions in 1990, Georgia has produced two WGCA National Player of the Year award winners – Vicki Goetze in 1993 and Marta Silva Zamora in 2011 – and one Freshman of the Year – Reilley Rankin in 1998.
Georgia is the No. 6 seed for the NCAA Championships, which begin next Friday, May 20 at the Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Oregon. The Bulldogs have won a total of nine titles this season, five team and four individual. Georgia swept the team and individual titles at the NCAA Bryan Regional last weekend. The Bulldogs shot 6-under 858 – the fourth-best score in school history – to capture a six-shot win over No. 11 Arizona. Tardy fired a 7-under 209 – the sixth-best mark in school history – to tie for medalist honors with UCLA’s Bronte Law.
“Bailey is playing her best golf of the year at the perfect time for us,” Brewer said.
The National and Freshman of the Year honors will be announced following the stroke play portion of the NCAA Championships. Joining Tardy on the Player of the Year list are South Carolina’s Katelyn Dambaugh, UCLA’s Law and Duke’s Leona Maguire. The other candidates for Freshman of the Year are Arkansas’ Maria Fassi, Alabama’s Cheyenne Knight, Southern Cal’s Robynn Ree and UCLA’s Lilia Vu.
The PING WGCA Player of the Year Award is awarded annually to the best player in Division I women’s golf. The top 60 players from the Golfstat and Golfweek/Sagarin rankings are considered. Each player must complete a minimum of 15 rounds during the competitive year including NCAA Regionals.