RIO MAR, P.R. — Three Georgia Bulldogs notched top-20 individual finishes at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, which concluded on Tuesday at the Wyndham Rio Mar Golf and Country Club. Freshman Harmie Constantino tied for ninth, junior Gabriela Coello tied for 15th and freshman Jenny Bae tied for 18th to lead Georgia to an eighth-place finish in the team field.
“First off, hats off to Harmie, Gaby and Jenny,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “They really had a good tournament. All three had three good rounds and top-20 finishes.”
On Tuesday, the Bulldogs’ three freshmen, Bae, Constantino and Jo-Hua Hung, all signed for 74s. Georgia’s final counter was a 76 from Coello. In addition, Rinko Mitsunaga shot 80 and Kelsey Kurnett, who was competing as an individual, posted an 85.
“We needed that low round from someone today,” Brewer said. “Not that we played bad, we just didn’t get an ‘eraser’ to help the team score go low. Overall, there were a lot of good things and some things we know can work on. There are certainly things we know we need to clean up if we are going to get to where we want to be in April and May competing at a very high level in the postseason.”
Overall, Constantino completed the 54-hole event at 2-over 218, while Coello and Bae shot 220 and 221, respectively. Hung tied for 64th, Burnett tied for 68th and Mitsunaga tied for 71st.
No. 11 Kent State won the team title after finishing at 866, four strokes ahead of No. 7 Arkansas. Rounding out the top-10 teams were Virginia Tech at 878, No. 13 Northwestern at 879, ECU at 882, No. 21 TCU at 883, Purdue at 887, the Bulldogs at 890, Iowa State at 891 and Augusta at 895.
Kent State’s Karoline Stormo and ECU’s Dorthea Forbrigd tied for the individual title at 7-under 209.
The Bulldogs will return in two weeks on Feb. 25-26 when they compete in The Gold Rush, which will be hosted by Long Beach State at Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach, Calif. The Bulldogs are the event’s defending champions. Last year, four Georgia golfers finished among the top-10 individuals as the Bulldogs secured a five-shot victory.
“The next two days they need to catch up academically and medically, in case we have any bumps or colds,” Brewer said. “After that, we’ll get back to work on Friday and one week after that we travel to Los Angeles. One of the good things with this group is they are a disappointed. They knew they had a chance to realistically finish in the top three this week. Our job as coaches is to teach and help team get one or two shots better, which they know they have the ability to do. If we do that as a team, we will have a very good tournament in two weeks.”