CHARLESTON, S.C. — Led by a trio of under-par individual efforts from Caterina Don, Natachanok “Drive” Tunwannarux and LoraLie Cowart, the Georgia women’s golf team fired a 16-under 836 team tally to finish sixth at the Cougar Classic on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs’ effort in the season opener represented the third-best relation-to-par tournament score in school history.
“It was a very solid way to start the year,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “Any time you compete, you want to win, but we know we are building and will play our best golf in the future. At the same time, there we a lot of positives to take away from this tournament and how we started the season.”
Georgia shot 4-under 280 on the par-71 layout at Yeamans Hall Club in the final round. The Bulldogs used counting rounds of 3-under 68 from Don, 1-under 70 from both Tunwannarux and Napat “Jenny” Lertsadwattana and a 1-over 72, the score posted by both Cowart and Bernice Olivarez Ilas.
On the final individual leaderboard, Don tied for ninth at 8-under 205, Tunwannarux tied for 20th at 4-under 209, Cowart tied for 28th at 3-under 210, Olivarez Ilas tied for 45th at 215 and Lertsadwattana tied for 70th at 220. Kate Song, who was competing as an individual, tied for 56th at 216.
Georgia received strong play from all six of the Bulldogs in the field. Every golfer shot par-or-better in at least one round and the group combined to post 11 par-or-better tallies in their combined 18 individual rounds.
“It’s a very good sign that everyone had at least one round at under par,” Brewer said.
Don’s 8-under effort was a stroke off her career low. She shot 9-under en route to capturing medalist honors at the 2019 Minnesota Invitational, the first tournament of her collegiate career.
“I’m happy for Caterina,” Brewer said. “She came out on fire as a freshman and won her first tournament. She played really well this week as well. She’s been here five years. Golf doesn’t own anyone anything, but I’d really like to see her have the type of season I know she deserves considering everything that she’s given to this program. She’s certainly off to a great start.”
Ole Miss claimed the team title by shooting 36-under 816, five shots ahead of runner-up LSU. Clemson’s Savannah Grewal and LSU’s Ingrid Lindblad shared the individual crown after both finished at 16-under.
The Bulldogs will return to action in three weeks for the second of four fall events when they travel to Chicago for Northwestern’s Windy City Collegiate Classic at Glen View Club.