MILFORD, Conn. — In just her second tournament since turning professional, former Georgia Bulldog Jenny Bae won a seven-hole sudden-death playoff enroute to victory at the Epson Tour’s Hartford HealthCare Women’s Championship on Monday.
Bae completed the 54-hole tournament, which was extended to Monday by weather delays, in a three-way tie with Ssu-Chia Cheng and Mini Kang atop the leaderboard at 11-under 205. Cheng was eliminated with a bogey on the first playoff hole. Bae and Kang both recorded six consecutive pars before Bae’s birdie secured her first tour win.
Bae shot 69-66-70 en route to victory. She was tied for third, a stroke off the pace, following Friday’s first round. A 6-under 66 on Saturday pushed Bae into a tie with Kang atop the field. Play was suspended on Sunday before the co-leaders took the course. Bae and Kang both shot 70 in the final round while Cheng closed with a 69.
Bae’s victory continues a stellar year for the Suwanee, Ga., native. She won the Juli Inkster Award as the top female collegiate golfer in her final season of eligibility and was a consensus first-team All-American after her senior season with the Bulldogs.
During Bae’s record-setting senior year at Georgia, she set school single-season marks for stroke average (70.75) and par-or-better rounds (25). Bae was a combined 36-under over 36 rounds during the 2022-23 campaign and posted the two best tournament scores ever by a Bulldog – 16-under to win the 2022 Illini Invitational and 13-under to lead Georgia to a sweep of the team and individual titles at the 2023 NCAA Athens Regional.
In addition, Bae was the runner-up at the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, where she was tied with world No. 1 Rose Zhang after 54 holes before falling on the second hole of a playoff at Augusta National.
Bae is the ninth Georgia golfer to win on the Epson Tour, the developmental tour known as the “Road to the LPGA.” Those former Bulldogs have combined to win 16 Epson events. All told, 19 Georgia golfers have gone on to compete on the LPGA Tour, including Bailey Tardy, who finished fourth at the U.S. Women’s Open two weeks ago.