BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Georgia posted a 10-over 298 in Friday’s final round of stroke play qualifying at the SEC Women’s Golf Championship. In the process, the Bulldogs slipped from seventh to ninth on the team leaderboard and fell two strokes shy of advancing to match play.
“It stings,” head coach Josh Brewer. “You come here to win an SEC title, and you don’t even give yourselves a chance to do it. It’s hard right now, and you have learn from it. The one thing we’ve talked about since the spring season started, when we’ve been in these positions, we got to eventually close one of them. Today, we didn’t do that.”
Georgia began the day in seventh and played solid early. The Bulldogs covered the front side of Greystone Golf and Country Club at even-par, their best showing over that half of the layout all week. At that point, Georgia surged as high as fourth on the leaderboard.
The Bulldogs then shot 10-over as a team on the back side while No. 16 Ole Miss, which was playing the opposite side of the course, posted a 3-under effort over its last nine holes. Even though Caterina Don and Jo Hua Hung both birdied No. 18, the Rebels still inched past Georgia into the final qualifying spot.
Jenny Bae led the Bulldogs with a 1-over 73 on Friday, while Jo Hung shot 74, Caroline Craig posted a 75 and Don signed for a 76 to round out Georgia’s counters.
Overall, Hung tied for 18th at 223, Bae tied for 23rd at 224, Candice Mahé tied for 30th at 227, Don tied for 43rd at 229 and Craig finished 52nd at 231.
No. 3 LSU shot 870 to finish 11 shots better than the field and grab the No. 1 seed for match play. The Tigers will face Ole Miss in Saturday’s quarterfinals, which also features No. 7 Auburn against No. 4 South Carolina, No. 10 Texas A&M versus No. 21 Florida and No. 19 Vanderbilt matched up with No. 5 Mississippi State.
Georgia will now await the announcement of the field for the NCAA Regional the Bulldogs will host at the University of Georgia Golf Course on May 8-10. Twelve teams and six individuals not on those teams will compete in Athens and five different Regional sites. The top-5 teams and low two individuals not on those teams at each Regional will advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be contested on May 19-24 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“We’ve got to get ready for hosting Regionals because we know where we’re going,” Brewer said. “If you look at, we haven’t made match play three times in a row here, but we’ve won a Regional and made match play at the national championships the last two years. Maybe, it’s a good omen as hard as that is to say. I want to win an SEC title, and I want these players to do it. But that’s the way you have to look at it. Again, we’re going to go in confident playing our golf course. If we play well there and do something special in Arizona, we’ll forget about this.”
Georgia won the 2021 Columbus Regional before finishing 18th at the NCAA Championships. A year ago, the Bulldogs were third in the Albuquerque Regional and then advanced to match play for the first time since the NCAA adopted the format in 2015. Georgia lost to Stanford, the eventual national champions, in the quarterfinals, 3-2.