May 10, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. --- The Georgia women's golf team woke up Saturday morning knowing it would take its best round of the year to advance to the NCAA Championships. The Bulldogs' hopes were bolstered when the teams hovering around the eighth-place, cut line for the NCAAs faltered somewhat during the morning wave.
Shortly after Georgia hit the course at SouthWood Golf Club, the team knew the cut to reach the NCAAs would likely be 15-over. The Bulldogs started the day at 18-over and promptly recorded three birdies at No. 1. For the next two hours, Georgia wavered in and out of a potential NCAA spot before eventually struggling on its last six holes.
Georgia finished the day with a 6-over 294 and completed the 54-hole Regional in 16th place at 24-over 888.
"Thursday and Friday are the days that put us in this position," head coach Josh Brewer said. "Today, we played well enough. We just didn't take advantage of opportunities to post a score on those first two days."
Amira Alexander led the Bulldogs with a career-best 4-under 68 on Saturday. Georgia's additional counters were a 73 from Manuela Carbajo Ré, a 76 from Rocio Sanchez Lobato and a 77, the score signed for by both Harang Lee and Sammi Lee.
Bulldog golfers moved in and out of potential counting positions for much of the day. At the turn, it appeared Georgia was at even-par, with Alexander at 4-under, Sammie Lee at even and both Carbajo Ré and Harang Lee at 2-over.
Alexander, Carbajo Ré and Sammi Lee all birdied No. 10 to again push the Bulldogs back to 3-under. Harang Lee then birdied No. 11 to potentially put Georgia into the NCAA field.
"It was fun because we knew we could make birdies at 10, 11 and 12," Brewer said. "We did just that and it gave us a chance to do something special with five holes to go."
All that came undone, however, when the Bulldogs recorded a double-bogey and three bogeys at No. 13.
"That part of the golf course is really challenging," Brewer said. "It was fun and exciting for a while, but we've got to find a way to learn how to close out rounds. That's kind of been the story of our team all year. We've been close but just not able to put it all together for the entire day. Unfortunately, that happened again in our final round of the year."
Alexander birdied No. 1, No. 4 No. 8, No. 9 and No. 10 to move to 5-under on the day. Back-to-back bogeys at No. 12 and No. 13 ended Alexander's hot streak, but she bounced back with a birdie at No. 17. The 68 bested her previous best loop as a Bulldog of the 2-under 70 in the final round of last month's John Kirk Panther Intercollegiate.
"Amira played really solid for us the past four-to-six weeks," Brewer said. "It was nice to see her put this round together after her first two rounds here, which were a little sub-par to what she's played like lately. Hopefully, she can build on this, have a good summer and be prepared for her next two years at Georgia."
Overall, Alexander and Harang Lee tied for 47th at 222, Sammi Lee, Carbajo Ré and Sanchez Lobato all tied for 66th at 225.
No. 12 Vanderbilt captured the team title at 24-under 840, 14 shots better than No. 5 South Carolina. Jenny Hahn completed the sweep for the Commodores by securing medalist honors at 9-under 207.
All five of the golfers in Georgia's lineup for the Regional and three additional letterwinners will return next season. The Bulldogs also will add signee Bella Skinner to their roster this fall.
"We have the same nucleus back and we're going to add a talented piece to this core," Brewer said. "This core is going to be important for us next year. We've shown we can play well, but we've got to get better. We've played pretty well over the past month or so. Hopefully, the taste we have in the mouth now will make us work harder this summer and for the 2014-15 season. We want to make sure what happened today doesn't happen at the end of 2015."
NCAA Women's Golf Championships
SouthWood Golf Club
Par 72; 6257 Yards
South Carolina 291-283-280=854
N.C. State 286-294-280=860
Florida State 290-295-297=882
East Tennessee 289-300-293=882
Texas State 289-299-297=885
Seton Hall 302-301-309=912
Murray State 307-316-310=933
Alabama State 315-314-308=937
Jenny Hahn, Vanderbilt 68-73-66=207
Hayley Davis, Baylor 72-71-67=210
Kendall Martindale, Vanderbilt 72-71-67=210
Justine Dreher, South Carolina 75-70-66=211
Irina Gabasa, Vanderbilt 70-72-69=211
Augusta James, N.C. State 69-73-69=211
Sandy Choi, Duke 72-68-72=212
Grace Na, Pepperdine 69-72-71=212
Samantha Swinehart, South Carolina 73-70-69=212
Gabriella Wahl, ETSU 68-75-69=212
Simin Feng, Vanderbilt 68-73-72=213
Lauren Kim, Stanford 72-72-69=213
Emily Pentilla, Tulane 65-78-70=213
Mariah Stackhouse, Stanford 68-71-74=213
Additional Georgia Scores
T47. Amira Alexander Georgia 79-75-68=222
T47. Harang Lee, Georgia 72-73-77=222
T69. Sammi Lee, Georgia 75-73-77=225
T69. Rocio Sanchez Lobato, Georgia 74-75-76=225
T69. Manuela Carbajo Ré, Georgia 77-75-73=225