BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Georgia’s run at the SEC Women’s Golf Championships ended with a 3-2 semifinal loss to Ole Miss on Sunday morning. Macy Somoskey made a 2-foot putt on the third extra hole – and 21st overall – of a sudden-death playoff with Rinko Mitsunaga to clinch the win for the Rebels.
“It hurts because I think we’re good enough to win it all,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “It’s painful not to be in that final match.”
The match between the Bulldogs and the Rebels was suspended due to darkness on Saturday with two twosomes still on the course.
When play resumed at 8:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, freshman Jo Hua Hung quickly closed out her match by halving the 17th hole to secure a 2-and-1 victory.
At that point, Mitsunaga and Somoskey were hitting approach shots on the par-5 No. 18. Both golfers eventually made short par putts to extend the match.
On the first playoff hole, No. 10, Somoskey made a 5-foot putt to force another playoff at No. 16. Mitsunaga made a similar putt there to move the match back to No. 17.
There, Mitsunaga’s tee shot landed just past the pin but rolled onto the back fringe, and Somoskey came up short in a bunker. The Ole Miss freshman punched out to within 2-feet, while Mitsunaga’s pitch ran past the hole. Mitsunaga’s par putt missed by inches, and then Somoskey clinched the match.
That Georgia extended play to Sunday was improbable most of Saturday. The Rebels led four of five matches through 16 holes before freshman Jenny Bae and Mitsunaga reversed the momentum.
Bae was 2-down through 13 but then captured No. 14 and No. 17 to bring the match to all-square. She eventually clinched a victory on the 21st hole. Mitsunaga was 4-down through 11 but captured four of the next holes to get to all-sqaure when play was suspended.
Ironically, Mitsuanga brought her match with Somoskey back to all-square at No. 17 roughly 12 hours earlier before play was suspended.
“It was a very good comeback,” Brewer said. “We’ve got to learn from it because, yeah, you want to win an SEC title, but you still have a goal in front of you. We’re good enough to be in this position again at the national championships. We’ve got some things we need to continue to work on but, it was a good week.”
The Bulldogs will now await their NCAA Regional seeding. The fields for the four Regionals will be announced on the Golf Channel on at 5:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Eighteen teams will compete in Regionals in Auburn, Ala.; Lansing, Mich.; Norman, Okla.; and Cle Elum, Wash. on May 6-8. From there, the top-eight teams will advance to the NCAA Championships on May 17-22 in Fayetteville, Ark.
“I’d be scared to see us, whatever seed we are,” Brewer said. “We’ll learn from this, get better and get ready to compete again in two weeks.”