ATHENS, Ga. — The No. 25-ranked Georgia women’s golf team will return to action on Monday morning when they tee off in the Windy City Collegiate Classic outside Chicago. The 54-hole tournament at Glen View Club will feature 36 holes on Monday and the final round on Tuesday.
“It’s a great event,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “It’s one of the few times when you see West Coast teams come semi-East. That’s exciting for us. It will our first time dipping our toes into seeing those teams. It’s a fun trip. We’ll know a lot more about ourselves come Tuesday than when we boarded the plane on Friday.”
The stacked 15-team field features four top-10 and nine top-25 ranked squads. No. 2 Wake Forest leads that ledger, followed by No. 4 Southern California, No. 6 Oregon, No. 7 Auburn, No. 14 Texas, No. 17 UCLA, No. 18 Arizona State, No. 21 Virginia, and the No. 25 Bulldogs. Rounding out the competing schools are Arizona, Duke, Illinois, Iowa State, Louisville and Northwestern.
Georgia opened the season two weeks ago by shooting 16-under en route to finishing sixth at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, S.C. All told, Bulldog golfers posted 11 par-or-better scores in their 18 combined rounds in the tournament.
“It’s obviously good to look around and see good shots and your teammates playing well,” Caterina Don said. “It keeps everyone accountable because we all have to work hard to make the lineup. Once you make the lineup, it’s fun because a lot of people are playing well and the scores are low. Hopefully, soon we’ll get a tournament victory.”
Georgia’s roster features just three returnees and six newcomers. The Bulldogs believe they have the right mix to record a fourth consecutive top-20 finish at the NCAA Championships.
“The fall is a chance to build and see people compete,” Brewer said. “With the new group, it’s a chance to learn who they are under competition versus at home. It was a good start at Charleston, and the competition in Chicago will be elite again. We have an amazing challenge ahead of us.”
Don, a fifth-year senior who finished ninth in Charleston, anchors Georgia’s lineup in Chicago, followed by LoraLie Cowart, Kate Song, Napat Lertsadwattana and Isabella Holpfer.
Song competed as an individual in Charleston and is excited about the chance to join the Bulldogs’ lineup this week.
“Actually, there is a different mindset,” Song said. “Now, my score is going to be with the team. It’s not necessarily pressure. I’m just excited to see what I can do for this school and for the girls. Every shot is not just for me now. It’s about the school and the girls and the team and seeing what we can do. I’m really excited, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Song is a native of Alpharetta, Ga., who grew up dreaming of playing for the Bulldogs. She played at Johns Creek High School and then spent two seasons at Mercer before transferring to Georgia.
“I’m sure there are so many other Georgia girls out there who would kill to be in this spot,” Song said. “It’s a huge honor to be here, just having that ‘G’ logo on my chest. It’s just surreal. I’m so glad to be here, and I just want to make the most out of if.”
After two tournaments, seven of nine Bulldogs will have seen action this fall.
“I think they’re pushing each other, and I think they’re doing it in a healthy manner,” Brewer said. “Some times, it can become toxic where you root against. I feel like they’re all rooting for what’s best for Georgia. I think a lot of that comes from Caterina. This year, she spoke during one of our first team meetings about how it doesn’t matter who is playing, we’re all playing for Georgia. For your fifth-year All-American says that, I think it speaks volumes and sets the tone for everyone else to fall in line. It’s exciting to have the depth.”
The Bulldogs are making their first trip to the Windy City Collegiate for the first time in seven years. Georgia competed in the tournament four times between 2013-16, winning team titles in both 2015 and 2016. In addition, Bailey Tardy captured medalist honors in 2015 when she shot what was then a school-record 12-under 204 tally.
Georgia will be paired with Duke and Arizona State on Monday. The Bulldogs and different versions of Devils will tee off at 8:30 a.m. ET, with live scoring available via golfstat.com.