ATHENS, Ga. — The No. 25-ranked Georgia women’s golf team will play its fourth and final tournament of the fall this season this weekend when the Bulldogs compete in the Stanford Intercollegiate hosted by Condoleezza Rice. The 54-hole event will be contested Friday-Sunday at the Stanford Golf Course.a
“We’re excited to go compete against the best teams on the West Coast,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “We’re just hoping to continue the momentum. In a way you could say it’s the best field we’ve faced this fall, and that’s probably not fair to a couple of the other tournaments we’ve played. They’d be right up there. It’s a chance to have another really strong performance and put four of them together for a fall. That would probably be the first time we’ve done that in quite a while, honestly.”
All 19 teams in the field are currently listed No. 59 or higher in the Golfweek rankings, including 12 featured in the top 25. No. 1 Stanford, No. 4 Oregon, No. 5 Texas, No. 7 UCLA, No. 12 Southern California, No. 13 San Jose State, No. 14 Auburn, No. 20 Arizona, No. 21 Northwestern, No. 23 Cal, No. 24 Arizona State and No. 25 Georgia. Rounding out the competing teams are Colorado, Denver, Iowa State, Michigan, Oregon State, Virginia and Washington.
“It’s an elite field,” Brewer said. “If it was a Regional field, you wouldn’t be getting much sleep. We get the challenge of traveling three times zones. We look forward to it. I think we’re ready and it’s exciting to end the fall like we started it with a strong performance.”
Georgia’s lineup at Stanford is led by fifth-year senior Caterina Don, followed by junior LoraLie Cowart, senior Isabella Holpfer, junior Kate Song and freshman Celine Brovold Sanne in her collegiate debut.
“At the end of the year, we all want to win a national championship,” Don said. “To win a national championship, you’re going to have to beat the best teams in the country. If you never practice that, you’re probably not going to be able to succeed when the pressure gets high. So, I like it where we compete in every tournament with a really good field. It’s always pressure, but it gets you mentally ready for when it’s time to compete in the postseason.”
With Brovold Sanne seeing action, eight of Georgia’s nine golfers will have appeared in the Bulldogs’ lineup this fall.
“I think it’s good to have that information because it allows you to take to them about what’s good and what they need to work on,” Brewer said.”
Don has been the Bulldogs’ top golfer in all three tournaments to date, posting top-10 individual finishes at each and shooting a combined 19-under in the process. Cowart also is under-par to date, shooting 5-under over nine loops.
“I think personally my key has been growing my confidence and knowing that I’ve done all the work that I could have done,” Don said. “Knowing that, I’ve just been trying to go out there and have fun with my teammates and the coaches. The work has been done before you get to the tournament. Playing should be the fun part of everything we do.”
As a team, Georgia’s top finish was a sixth-place effort at both the Cougar Classic and the Illini Invitational. The Bulldogs have posted par-or-better scores in seven of nine rounds and are a combined 30-under as a team this fall.
“I don’t know if our scores will be quite as low as the previous couple of tournaments,” Brewer said. “You can make birdies on this course but probably not as many. We’re just going out there and competing. It’s another lineup for us so it’s a chance for more people to make a statement as we head into the offseason.”
All seven Georgia golfers have shot under-par this fall, recording 28 par-or-better tallies in 48 individual rounds.
“I think there’s a really good energy with the team,” Don said. “There’s a lot of laughing and encouraging each other. We bring each other up, and I know my teammates have my back. It’s always a learning process, especially with a new team. It’s great to see a lot of people are putting up good rounds. That gives everybody the confidence that the work that we’re doing is going to work at tournaments. We just have to trust it and keep going.”
Georgia will be paired with Arizona and Oregon State for the first and second rounds. The Bulldogs, Wildcasts and Beavers will tee off from No. 1 beginning at 11:25 a.m. ET on Friday and then begin on No. 10 at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. Live scoring will be available via www.golfstat.com.