ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia women’s golf team will finish the 2019 portion of its season when the Bulldogs compete in the inaugural White Sands Invitational in Nassau, Bahamas from Monday-Wednesday. The tournament will be contested on the par-72, 6415-yard layout at the Ocean Club Golf Course.
“We’re looking to have our best finish of the season and end the first part of our schedule on a high note,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “We’ve played well at times and feel like we should belong at the top of the leaderboard if we play to our capabilities. We’re going down there very confident.”
Freshmen Caterina Don and Céleste Dao will occupy the top-two positions in the Bulldogs’ lineup, followed by sophomores Jo Hua Hung and Jenny Bae and junior Alison Crenshaw. In addition, freshman Caroline Craig will compete as an individual.
The tournament will serve as the UGA debut for Crenshaw, who is from Suwanee, Ga., and was a two-time junior college All-American at Daytona State before transferring to Georgia this fall.
No. 3 Texas headlines the 14-team field that includes five top-25 teams, also including No. 17 Arkansas, No. 21 Mississippi State, No. 24 Houston and No. 25 Ohio State. The tournament lineup also features Baylor, Clemson, the Bulldogs, New Mexico, North Texas, Oklahoma, SMU, Tennessee and Tulane.
“To us, it has the feel of an NCAA Regional,” Brewer said. “It might be missing one or two of the top teams, but you’re not going to have all the top teams at the same Regional. There are a lot of teams who could be fighting for that last spot (in the NCAA Championships field) at Regionals so it’s great competition and preparation for us. We’d like to move ahead some of the teams ahead of us in the rankings, which would help us start the spring on a high note.”
To date, Georgia’s top team effort was a third-place showing at The Molly earlier this month. Freshmen Caterina Don has been the Bulldogs’ best individual. She became the first Georgia golfer to capture medalist honors in her collegiate debut since 1998 when she shot 9-under 135 to win the Minnesota Invitational. Don is a combined 3-under over eight rounds to date, with four par-or-better loops.
Georgia is coming off an eighth-place showing at the Stanford Intercollegiate two weeks ago.
“We’ve worked a lot on course management and some little things in their games,” Brewer said. “We’ve played well. We’ve made a lot of birdies and pars. We’re trying to figure out why we’re not right at the top of the leaderboard and focusing on course management and the mental side of making decisions.”
Georgia will be paired with Oklahoma and Tennessee for Monday’s opening round, which will feature and 8:00 am shotgun start. The Bulldogs, Sooners and Vols will tee off on holes Nos. 7-10. Live scoring will be available throughout the tournament at www.golfstat.com.