ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia’s Jo Hua Hung fired a 2-under 142 on Saturday to win the Lady Bulldog Individual Championship at the UGA Golf Course.
Bulldogs finished 1-2-3 on the leaderboard, with the senior from Taiwan topping runner-up Céleste Dao by five strokes and Isabella Holpfer placing third.
“I’m excited for Jo and all the work that she has put in to get her first win as a Bulldog,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “It’s pretty special. Hopefully, it’s the confidence boost that she needs to have that magical, final semester as a college player. And as a team, I think we had three players leading at certain times today, and that says a lot about the depth of the program.”
Caterina Don provided an additional top-10 effort for Georgia, tying for sixth.
Hung posted back-to-back scores of 1-under 71 enroute to her first college win. She is the Bulldogs’ second individual winner this season, following Jenny Bae’s title at the Illini Invitational last fall.
The tournament featured a shotgun start, with Hung, as Georgia’s top qualifier, teeing off from No. 1 and playing the UGA layout in its traditional 1-18 format.
In the afternoon, Hung turned at even-par after a birdie at No. 2 and a bogey at No. 8. She was 1-over after a bogeyed at No. 10, a birdie at No. 11 and another bogey at No. 13. Hung returned to red numbers and extended a three-shot lead late, with birdies at No. 16 and No. 18.
That followed a morning round when Hung parred her first 14 holes before going birdie-bogey-birdie on Nos. 15-17.
“For me, I am happy with how I played,” Hung said. “It also just tells me whatever I’m working on is working, even what I worked on back in Taiwan (over the holiday), it worked. I’m just so happy that for us to start this season this way. It is definitely a confidence booster for me, and my game was just right there. Right now, my short game is something I am still working on to get myself better. Definitely, I am happy and I thought ‘Oh, Jo you have the skill, but you just need be confident about myself.'”
Dao was the first-round leader after shooting a 2-under 70 in the morning, a shot ahead of Hung.
Dao teed off from No. 3 and posted seven consecutive pars to reach No. 9 at even. She then birdied No. 10, No. 11, No. 12 and No. 15 to move to 4-under. Dao had her first bogey at No. 16 but immediately birdied No. 17 to regain that stroke. She bogeyed No. 18 and then her final hole of the loop at No. 2.
The tournament was the first of three home events for the Bulldogs this spring. Georgia will also host the 51st annual Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic on March 24-26 and an NCAA Regional on May 8-10.
It’s just a great start, honestly, and hopefully it tells us what we need with hosting regionals and Liz Murphey here. It just gives us a little bit of confidence with hosting those events, as well, later in the spring.”