NASSAU, Bahamas — Freshman Caterina Don fired a 1-under 71 – her third par-or-better round in as many days – en route to finishing fourth individually at the inaugural White Sands Invitational on Wednesday. Georgia posted a 5-over 293 in the final round as a team and placed eighth overall at 9-over 873.
Georgia began the day quickly, with Bulldogs posting five birdies over their first two holes. However, Georgia gave those strokes back over their next four holes.
“We have to learn that under-par is what you need to shoot to be an elite team,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “We’re really talented and are scores have been solid but in events like this, you have to make more birdies. That’s something we can work on in the offseason. We were in a good position to have a high finish here. Next time we get there, we’ll close it out better.”
Don, who finished at 6-under 210 for the tournament, started the final round at No. 5 and notched birdies both there and at No. 6. Bogeys at No. 13 and No. 15 brought her back to even. Don birdied No. 2 to record her fourth-straight score in red numbers dating back to the final round of the Stanford Intercollegiate. She has seven par-or-better efforts in 11 loops this fall and is a combined 9-under over 198 holes.
Georgia also counted a pair of 1-over 73 from sophomores Jenny Bae and Jo Hua Hung and a 76, the score signed for by both junior Alison Crenshaw and Céleste Dao. Caroline Craig, who competed in the tournament as an individual, shot 75.
Following Don in the individual field, Hung tied for 21st at 2-over 218, Bae tied for 34th at 221, Craig tied for 41st at 222, Dao tied for 51st at 224 and Crenshaw placed 79th at 236.
No. 3 Texas swept the team and individual titles. Sophie Guo won medalist honors at 17-under 199 to lead the Longhorns to a 36-under team tally. No. 17 Arkansas was second at 857, followed by Oklahoma at 858, No. 24 Houston at 866, Tennessee at 867, North Texas at 870, Baylor at 871, the Bulldogs and Clemson both at 873, No. 21 Mississippi State at 874, SMU at 882, No. 25 Ohio State at 883, Tulane at 889 and New Mexico at 903.
The tournament wrapped up the fall portion of the Bulldogs’ 2019-20 campaign. Georgia will enjoy a break from competition until returning to action at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic on Feb. 9. The Bulldogs’ spring slate is headlined by two home events at the UGA Golf Course – the 47th annual Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic on March 20-22 and an NCAA Regional on May 11-13.
“When we get to 1-under or 2-under we need to be thinking about getting to 4-under or 5-under,” Brewer said. “We have the talent here to have a very special team. We’ll work hard during the offseason to develop that mindset.”