April 17, 2014
2014 SEC Championships Notes
Georgia In The SEC Women's Golf Championships
April 18-20, 2014
Greystone Golf & Country Club
Par 72, 6037 Yards
UGA Opens Postseason Play At SEC Championships
The Georgia women's golf team will begin the postseason portion of its 2013-14 campaign this weekend when the Bulldogs compete in the Southeastern Conference Championships at Greystone Golf & Country Club on the south side of Birmingham.
"We're very excited," head coach Josh Brewer said. "We've closed the book on the regular season two weeks ago and now we have 10 more rounds left. That starts Friday at Greystone."
As usual, the SEC is likely the deepest conference in the nation in women's golf. No less than nine league schools are currently among the top-25 teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, while seven are featured in the top-25 of the Golfstat rankings. Arkansas is the top-ranked team in both, checking in at No. 4 by Golfstat and No. 5 by Golfweek.
"It will be better than a Regional field," Brewer said. "I think the one thing we're missing as conference is that we haven't had that dominant team all year. If you go in there and play well, you should have a chance on Sunday. Of course, there are probably 13 other coaches saying the same thing that I am right now."
The Bulldogs are No. 53 in both of the latest ledgers from Golfweek and Golfstat. Georgia will be paired with Texas A&M and Tennessee for Friday's opening round. The Bulldogs, Aggies and Lady Volunteers will tee off from No. 10 of the par-72, 6,037-yard layout beginning at 9:20 a.m. ET. Live scoring will be available throughout the weekend at www.golfstat.com.
Georgia's youthful SEC lineup will feature a junior, two sophomores and two freshman. Manuela Carbajo Ré, who leads the Bulldogs in virtually every statistic, will occupy the No. 1 spot. Rocio Sanchez Lobato, who has three top-20 finishes in a combined five post-season events, is in the No. 5 position.
"Everyone has played well at times," Brewer said. "We need to piece it all together. To me, it's a big step when `Ro' is playing 5 for you. She's had two great SEC Championships in her first two seasons at Georgia. She seems to step it up in the postseason.
"We're going there with no expectations," Brewer continued. "Most people project us to finish 10th or 11th. We're going to go in there and have a lot of fun. If we make a birdie, we'll smile. If we make a bogey, we'll smile and keep going. We're going to try to shock some people. This group should be confident. We have three players who helped us finish second at the SECs last year. You're going to see a fun, loose group Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Greystone."
The Bulldogs' SEC Championships history
Georgia has captured a league-leading 19 SEC Women's Golf Championships all-time. Georgia has won 11 team and eight individual league titles (years listed at the bottom of this page of tournament notes).
Florida ranks second with 16 conference championships, eight team and eight individual titles, while Auburn now ranks third with 15 crowns, nine team and six individual.
UGA, UF and AU own 50 of the combined 66 SEC titles all-time in women's golf, while the other 11 league schools have captured the other 16 (five team and 11 individual).
The Greystone Layout
Georgia had a successful first stab at the Greystone Golf and Country Club layout last spring. The Bulldogs entered the 2013 SEC Championships ranked No. 18 and as the No. 5 seed before defeating three top-10 teams en route to a runner-up showing.
"I think Greystone suits us," Josh Brewer said. "We're a team that seems to make a lot of pars and a few bogeys instead of making five or six birdies per round. I hope they set it up like last year where, if you shoot around 290 as a team it's a good round and can put you in contention."
Greystone is in the second year of a four-year agreement to host the SEC Women's Golf Championships. The course has been shortened slightly from a year ago. After playing at 6,401 yards last spring, the yardage has been trimmed by 364 yards for this year's tournament.
Carbajo Ré Leads The Way
Sophomore Manuela Carbajo Ré arrives at the SECs on the heels of a much more impressive performance than most realize during the 42nd annual Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic.
As a prelude to the NCAA Championships' shift to a combined stroke play/match play format in 2015, the LMCC was altered to include one round of stroke play qualifying and three rounds of match play this spring.
Carbajo Ré shot 1-under 71 in stroke play qualifying to finish tied for sixth in the "official" individual results for the tourney.
The 2011 South American Amateur champion was then 2-0 in match play, securing decisive 5-and-4 and 7-and-5 victories in the first and third rounds of competition. She also led her second-round match-up 3-up with three holes remaining when Georgia clinched a team victory and play was suspended.
All told, Carbajo Ré was 7-under over the approximate 60 holes of golf she played during the four rounds of the LMCC.
We Call It The ''Ro''stseason
Rocio Sanchez Lobato has played some of her best collegiate golf during postseason play at the SEC Championships, the NCAA Regionals and the NCAA Championships.
In five postseason tournaments, Sanchez Lobato has recorded two top-10 and an additional top-20 showing.
As a freshman in 2012, Sanchez Lobato finished eighth at the SECs and then secured an individual spot in the NCAA Championships field by tying for 10th at the Central Regional.
Last spring, Sanchez Lobato tied for 11th at the SECs on the same Greystone layout.
In addition to the aforementioned, the Marbella, Spain native has a list of impressive results from other big-name events.
Sanchez Lobato was runner-up at the 2012 British Am (where she lost to Alabama's Stephanie Meadow). Also that summer, Sanchez Lobato tied for 11th individually and helped Spain to the team title at the World University Games and then tied for 12th individually at the European Ladies Am, her third straight top-20 in that event.
Alexander Packs A Punch, Posts Lone Eagle In '13 SECs
Amira Alexander notched the only eagle recorded at last year's SEC Championships at Greystone. That represented 3,780 holes contested by 70 golfers over the weekend.
Alexander's eagle was an improbable `3' on the 439-yard No. 18. Her tee shot hit a cart path in the middle of the fairway and then bounced over a creek into the fairway. That left her with a 143-yard, 8-iron into the green.
"The eagle was totally unexpected," Alexander said. "My teammates told me that I couldn't hit it far enough to get in the hazard. I hit my driver and it was a great drive. It hit the cart path, and I thought it went into the water. When I got up there I saw it was a great shot and I thought to myself `Why not just stick it on the green and make an eagle?"
Freshmen Lees Sport Strong Junior Resumes
Freshmen Harang Lee, a native of Castro Uridales, Spain, and Sammi Lee, who hails from Winter Park, Fla., both arrived in Athens with impressive credentials.
Harang was ranked among the world's top-100 amateurs for much of 2012 and 2013, topping out at No. 32 in May 2012. She represented Europe in the 2012 Junior Ryder Cup and the 2013 Junior Solheim Cup.
Sammi was ranked No. 22 in the class of 2013 by Golfweek and wrapped up her junior playing days with a six-shot victory at the Davis Love III Junior Open last July.