ATHENS, Ga. —- Paula Neira Garcia (pronounced Pow-luh Nay-duh Gar-see-uh), one of the top junior golfers in Europe, has signed a letter-of-intent to play collegiately for the University of Georgia, head coach Josh Brewer announced on Friday, March 28th.
Neira Garcia, who is from Gijon, Spain, will join the team in the fall as a freshman and has an impressive list of results. Over the past year, she has finished as runner-up at the 2016 Annika Invitational Europe and placed third at the 2017 European Nations Cup. Neira Garcia tied for medalist honors at the 2016 Girls’ British Amateur and then advanced to the quarterfinal round of match play. She has posted top-20 finish at the last two Spanish Amateurs, tying for 17th in 2016 and tying for ninth (along with current Bulldog Harang Lee) in 2017.
Neira Garcia also represented Spain at the 2016 European Girls’ Team Championship. There she shot rounds of 71-72 to tie for seventh in stroke play qualifying and then posted a 4-2 record in match play to help Spain to a third-place finish.
“We’re excited to add one of the best players in Europe,” Brewer said. “Paula continues our Spanish tradition here at Georgia. I know she is excited to follow in the long line of golfers from Spain who have had great success here. She’s that caliber of player, and we expect her to have similar success as a Bulldog.”
Niera Garcia continues an impressive list of Spanish golfers to compete for Georgia. Carolina Andrade began a stretch of at least one Spaniard on the UGA roster in 2006. She was followed by Marta Silva Zamora, Rocio Sanchez Lobato, Isabel Silva Zamora and Harang Lee. Marta Silva Zamora went on to win National Player of the Year honors in 2011 and become just the second four-time All-American in school history. In addition, Lee was named All-America last season; Lee and Andrade earned All-SEC status; and Marta Silva Zamora and Sanchez Lobato both earned SEC All-Freshman accolades.