The Georgia women’s golf team will christen its 2017-18 season on Monday when the Bulldogs begin play at the Minnesota Invitational. The two-day event will feature 36 holes on today followed by 18 on Tuesday at the par-72, 6,248-yard Prestwick Golf Club.
“Really, there’s almost no better feeling until postseason play because you finally get to see where you stand as a team,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “You get to see how much work everyone put in in the summer and watch them be rewarded for it.”
Georgia is the highest ranked team in the preseason Golfweek top-30 competing in Minnesota. The Bulldogs checked in at No. 9. No. 10 Southern Cal and No. 16 Michigan State also are in the field, along with BYU, East Carolina, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, Minnesota, North Texas, Notre Dame, Purdue, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin.
The Bulldogs’ lineup will feature freshman Paula Neira Garcia at No. 1, followed by senior Isabella Skinner, sophomore Gabriela Coello, freshman Stephanie Carras and freshman Elisa Yang. The Bulldogs will open the season with a playing five featuring three freshmen, just as they did to two years ago when they won the Cardinal Kickoff. That was the first of nine trophies – five team and four individual – Georgia captured during the 2015-16 season.
“It worked out well two years ago so it would be nice if we could get a repeat of that,” Brewer said. “You kind of go in eyes wide open. You recruit and see all the great things they have done and now you get to see if even closer. We know it’s a long season, but I’m excited to watch them compete with the ‘G’ on their chest.”
Georgia’s three returning All-Americans – juniors Jillian Hollis, Rinko Mitsunaga and Bailey Tardy – are not in the lineup after missing a portion of team qualifying while they were competing at LPGA Q-School.
“The goal doesn’t change,” Brewer said. “It’s always the same. We’re a program that’s worked hard to have a top-10 ranking and have individuals who have dreams of playing on the Tour and being National Player of the Year. We’re going up with the same belief that we’re there to compete and have a chance to win the final day. You might have to adjust along the way, but we’re going up there with the belief that we’re the best team there and want to prove it.”
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