ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia women’s golf team will compete in the NCAA Albuquerque Regional on May 9-11 looking to advance to the NCAA Championships. The Bulldogs, who are currently ranked No. 27 by Golfweekand No. 28 by Golfstat, are the No. 5 seed in the 12-team field that will play 54 holes at the University of New Mexico’s Championship Course.
The fields for six Regionals were announced on Monday, with 12 teams and six individuals set at each site. From each Regional, the top-four teams (24 total) and top two individuals not on a top-four team (12 total) will advance to the NCAA Championships on May 20-25 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“We’re excited,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “The uncertaincy is fun. It’s always great see the smiles on their faces when we show up and we know where we’re going. It’s the only unknown regarding our schedule all season so it’s exciting to discover where we will be competing. It’s nerve-wracking because I’m a control freak so I had to have six options ready.”
Albuquerque was the fourth of the six Regional fields to be announced.
“I was super excited to see our school’s name show up on the screen, but I was actually really surprised because I wasn’t expecting to go to New Mexico,” Jo Hua Hung said. “That’s one of the states I’ve wanted to go because I’ve never been there before.”
“It’s actually nerve-wracking and thrilling at the same time,” Jenny Bae said. “We were kind of thinking we would go to Florida or Michigan. New Mexico will be a new experience for me and pretty much all of our team that’s traveling, so I think it will be fun.’
With the NCAA Championships also slated for a desert course in Arizona, the Bulldogs traveled to Mesa, Ariz., to compete in similar conditions at the Clover Cup earlier this spring.
“That’s why we went and played out in Arizona in March,” Brewer said. “I know the Regional is in New Mexico, but still it’s desert golf. We spent a week out there practicing and preparing so you hope that pays off.”
Three Bulldogs notched top-20 individual efforts at Longbow Golf Club, with Caterina Don tying for 10th, Bae tying for 15th and Hung tying for 19th. Georgia finished sixth in the 17-team event.
“I think for me, playing desert golf the biggest difference is visually,” Hung said. “In the desert there aren’t many trees and it’s wide open so I need to pick specific targets on my tee shots. Also, the weather is super-dry so that feels different too.”
Last year, the Bulldogs won both the team and individual titles at the Columbus Ohio Regional. Bae shot 4-under to capture medalist honors and lead Georgia to a 15-shot victory over the rest of the field.
“Last year, I won individually and the team won first place,” Bae said. “I think that we’re going to bring back those memories and somehow pull up all that positive energy and go there very confidently.”
Georgia is one of just three women’s golf programs to sweep Regional titles twice since 2016. The Bulldogs did so last year in Columbus and also in Bryan, Texas in 2016. The others are schools are Stanford (Albuquerque in 2017 and Stanford in 2021) and South Carolina (Baton Rouge in 2016 and Columbus in 2017).
The NCAA altered the format for its women’s golf championships this spring, expanding from four Regionals to six. In addition to Albuquerque, Regionals will be contested in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Franklin, Tenn.; Stanford, Calif.; Stillwater, Okla.; and Tallahassee, Fla. Those tournaments will take place simultaneously and feature 72 total teams and 36 total individuals.
“In a way, it’s three most important rounds of the year,” Brewer said. “Seeding doesn’t matter now. Who cares? You just go there wanting to play well. We’ll enjoy it, but we know we have some work to do. It’s a business trip, and we’re going to make it a fun business trip. We know what we can do when our minds are right.”
The NCAA Championships will be held for the second straight year at Grayhawk Golf Club (Raptor Course) in Scottsdale.
The Bulldogs have historically been one of women’s college golf’s premier programs. Georgia has captured four national titles, winning the team title in 2001 and three individual crowns – Terri Moody in 1981, Cindy Schreyer in 1984 and Vicki Goetze in 1993. In addition, the Bulldogs have recorded 27 top-20 team finishes since 1979, including 20 top-10 performances.
Georgia also has won eight Regional titles – five team and three individual – since that format was introduced in 1993. The Bulldogs were team champions at Regionals in 1993, 1998 and 1999. Georgia’s Regional medalists are Reilley Rankin in 1998, Bailey Tardy in 2016 and Bae last season.