TUSCON, Arizona — Jillian Hollis and the Georgia women’s golf teams wrapped up wire-to-wire individual and team victories at the Mountain View Collegiate on Saturday (March 19th, 2016). Hollis shot even-par 72 to finish the tournament at 11-under 205. Georgia closed with a 1-over 289 to cover the 54-hole event at 5-under 859.
The wins were Georgia’s fourth team and third individual titles of the year.
“This is the third different group to win a (team) title this year,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “That speaks to the depth and how hard everyone in our program has worked this year and over the past couple of years to get to this point.”
Hollis entered the day with a nine-shot lead and finished five shots ahead of Iowa State’s Chayanit Wangmahaporn.
“I’m really excited,” Hollis said. “Before yesterday, my mom told me to not think about playing 36 holes or playing 18 holes twice but to approach it as if I was playing 36, one-hole tournaments. That really helped me keep my mind in the right place. My mindset both days was to try to birdie every hole but to stay patient.”
A day after making 15 birdies in 36 holes on Friday, Hollis played steady golf on Saturday. She posted 11 straight pars before a bogey at No. 12. Following a trio of pars, Hollis notched a birdie at No. 16 and then wrapped up her day with pars on the final two holes.
“I was pleased with how I played today,” Hollis said. “I thought the pins were a bit tougher, and the greens are really firm here. It was hard to make a good, aggressive birdie putt. I thought if I could shoot par that no one would probably shoot 9-under. Then the girl I was playing with made four birdie putts in a row. I didn’t know where she was when we started the day, but I tried to keep that out of my mind.”
Bailey Tardy supplied the Bulldogs with their low loop of the day with a 1-under 71. She was 2-under through 17 holes, with birdies at No. 9 and No. 11, before a bogey at No. 18. Georgia also counted Hollis’ 72 and a pair 73s from Harang Lee and Sammi Lee. Rinko Mitsunaga shot 74, and Mary Ellen Shuman, competing as an individual, signed for a 75.
“The golf course was a little more demanding today,” Brewer said. “It got a little windy out there, and the greens got faster. It was hard to make birdies and hard to really get a lot of good looks at birdie. You could get the ball within 15-35 feet but, we getting it 15-feet and in was difficult. But we played good, solid golf all day.”
“Everyone played great today for the most part,” Hollis said. “This is a respectable course. You can go really low on it because it’s short, but with these greens, it can play really difficult if you don’t pay attention to the greens or how far out you are.”
Overall, Tardy tied for third at 3-under 213, Harang Lee tied for 17th at 219, Sammi Lee tied for 24th at 222, Mitsunaga tied for 61st at 230 and Shuman tied for 66th at 231.
No. 16 Iowa State finished second in the team field at 866. Rounding out the top 10 were Purdue at 874, No. 22 Missouri at 875, New Mexico State at 877, UT-San Antonio at 878, Ohio State at 880, San Jose State at 887, Colorado State at 888 and Texas State at 889.
The victory is Georgia’s fourth of the season, and the 859 score represents the fifth-best effort in school history. The Bulldogs also won the Cardinal Kickoff Classic and the Windy City Collegiate Classic in the fall and the Lady Puerto Rico Classic to open the spring. The four team wins are Georgia’s most since capturing a school-record seven victories in 1998-99.
Hollis became the third member of Georgia’s celebrated freshman class to capture an individual title. Bailey Tardy won the Windy City Collegiate last fall, and Rinko Mitsunaga was medalist at the Lady Bulldog Individual Championship in February.
This marks just the fourth time – and the first since Georgia’s 2001 NCAA Championship campaign – that three different UGA golfers won individual titles in a season.
It also comes after Hollis missed qualifying for the Bulldogs’ lineup for their last event, the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate
“It was an impressive tournament by Jillian,” Brewer said. “Given she missed playing last week, I’m very proud of the way she handles everything. She went to work and controlled her destiny. I’m happy to see her get her first college victory.”
The Bulldogs will return to action in two weeks when they host the 44th annual Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic at the UGA Golf Course. One of the longest-running events in women’s intercollegiate athletics, the Liz Murphey will feature a combination of stroke play and match play similar to that used during the NCAA Championships.
The 12-team field will play 18 holes of stroke play on Friday, April 1, with those results used to seed a match play bracket. The top eight teams will compete in a “red” bracket, while the remaining four teams will play in a round-robin “black” bracket. Two rounds of match play will be held on Saturday and single round will be played on Sunday.