Milena Savich returns to action after missing the last tourney with an illness
March 18, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- The No. 20-ranked Georgia women's golf team will travel to San Diego this weekend to compete in the inaugural Battle at Rancho Bernardo on Sunday-Tuesday.
The Bulldogs dropped 10 spots in the Golfstat rankings after not having enough golfers to field a team for the final round of the Kinderlou Forest Challenge three weeks ago. Milena Savich withdrew from all three rounds due to a stomach ailment that hit her early in the first round, leaving the Bulldogs with the minimum four golfers available to post a team score. Marta Silva Zamora then withdrew from the final round with the same illness. Therefore, Georgia officially finished last in the field.
"It should be a good opportunity for us to see where we are," head coach Kelley Hester said. "So far this spring, we didn't play poorly at Puerto Rico, but we certainly didn't play like we'd hoped. Valdosta was sort of an anomaly. This tournament should be a pretty good measure of where we are as we get ready to head into the postseason. There are quite a few top, top schools in the field."
All told, six top-10 squads and four more top-25 teams are in the field, including No. 1 Southern Cal, No. 3 UCLA, No. 7 Purdue, No. 8, Arizona, No. 9 Arizona State, No. 10 Cal, No. 17 Pepperdine, No. 18 UC Davis, the No. 20 Bulldogs and No. 22 Auburn. Also competing are host San Diego State, Denver, New Mexico, Oregon, TCU, Texas, UC Davis and UNLV.
Georgia's playing five will consist of juniors Marta Silva Zamora, Milena Savich and Kiara Hayashida and sophomores Emilie Burger and Abby Johnson. Junior Tess Fordham will compete as an individual.
"At this point, our top three are pretty solid," Hester said. "Marta is one of the best golfers in the country. Emilie has proven she's a very solid '1' or '2' for us. Milena hasn't played quite as well lately but her overall record would show that she's a very strong '3.' Those other two spots are up for grabs. I think being able to take an individual with us will be a good measure of how those three golfers compete on the same golf course under similar conditions."
The trip coincides with Spring Break on the UGA campus.
"We're excited about going," Hester said. "It's Spring Break and it will be a nice trip. The girls won't have any school assighments to worry about. It's not like a trip when school is in session and you have to wait until everyone gets out of class and then rush to catch a flight. We'll leave early in the day and have a rather leisurely trip going out there...compared to the red-eye we're catching back."
Live scoring the event will be available at www.golfstat.com.