After the opening round of the Lady Puerto Rico Classic on Sunday, which saw the Georgia women’s golf team shoot a six-over 296, the Bulldogs are tied for fourth place in the field of 15 teams. The Ladies are only four shots out of first place Furman currently.
“It was a solid start,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “We haven’t played for four months and it was kinda what I expected. There were some really good things, but there also was a little bit of rust in some areas. Now we have some scores posted and some competitive swings. We can start the process of getting better for the rest of the year and building toward our postseason goals.”
Sophomores Rinko Mitsunaga and Bailey Tardy paced Georgia with a pair of 1-under 71s. The Bulldogs also counted a 75 from Harang Lee and a 77 from Jillian Hollis. Georgia’s drop scored was a 78 from Mary Ellen Shuman, while Sammi Lee, who is competing as an individual, shot 77.
Mitsunaga and Tardy are tied for third, one shot behind co-leaders Haylee Harford of Furman and Maria Besga of Baylor. Harang Lee is tied for 29th, Hollis and Sammi Lee are tied for 46th and Shuman is tied for 56th.
“I think the pins today were the hardest I’ve seen on this course,” Brewer said. “The pins kept anyone from going really low, and they also made you pay for mistakes. This early in the year, with today’s pins, you really did pay for your mistakes.”
Tardy started at hole No. 1 in the shotgun format and played the front side at 4-under. She birdied No. 2 and No. 3 and then eagled the par-5 No. 8. Tardy gave a pair of strokes back with consecutive bogeys at No. 12 and No. 13 but returned to 3-under with a birdie at No. 15. She closed her day with bogeys at No. 17 and No. 18.
Mitsunaga opened her loop at No. 2 and notched five-straight pars before a bogey at No. 7. She remained at 1-over until a birdie at No. 16 brought her back to even and another birdie at No. 1, her last hole of the day, pushed her into red numbers.
No. 8 Furman shot 290 to grab the team lead. The Paladins are two shots ahead of Texas Tech at 292, and rounding out the top-10 teams are No. 15 Kent State at 293; the Bulldogs and TCU at 294; No. 21 Baylor and Michigan at 298; No. 9 Arkansas and LSU at 299; and N.C. State at 303.
Sunday’s First-Round Standings
Lady Puerto Rico Classic
Rio Mar River Course
Rio Mar, P.R.
Par 72; 6164 Yards
Texas Tech 292
Kent State 293
N.C. State 303
Iowa State 305
Haylee Harford, Furman 70
Maria Besga, Baylor 70
Rinko Mitsunaga, Georgia 71
Bailey Tardy, Georgia 71
Grace Choi, Michigan 71
Amy Lee, Baylor 71
Taylor Totland, Furman 71
Caroline Nistrup, LSU 72
Sydney Cavin, LSU 72
Lauren Mason, Texas Tech 72
Chayanit Wangmahaporn, Iowa State 72
Marissa Kirkword, Kent State 72
Panitta Yusabai, Maryland 72
Wad Phaewchimplee, Kent State 72
Gabby Barker, Texas Tech 72
Celia Barquin, Iowa State 72
Additional Georgia Scores
T29. Harang Lee, Georgia 75
T46. Jillian Hollis, Georgia 77
T46. *Sammi Lee, Georgia 77
T56. Mary Ellen Shuman, Georgia 78
* competing as an individual