Mary Ellen Shuman played 21 holes at a combined 6-under to secure the first spot in the lineup.
Sept. 29, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The No. 17-ranked Georgia women's golf team will begin a busy stretch of two tournaments in a week's span when the Bulldogs open play at the Windy City Collegiate Classic on Monday.
Hosted by Northwestern, the 54-hole tourney at Northmoor Country Club will feature 36 holes of competition on Monday followed by 18 on Tuesday. Georgia then will compete in Oklahoma's Schooner Fall Classic next Friday-Sunday.
The Windy City field features nine top-25 teams from the first Golfstat rankings of 2013-14. No. 2 Southern Cal leads the way, followed by No. 5 Oklahoma State, No. 10 Arizona, No. 12 Florida, No. 14 Iowa State, No. 15 Stanford, the No. 17 Bulldogs, No. 22 Louisville and No. 24 Ohio State. Rounding out the competing schools are Brown, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, TCU and UNC Wilmington.
“It's a great field competing on an old-style golf course in the Midwest," head coach Josh Brewer said. "We just wanted to go up there in case we get shipped somewhere for Regionals a little bit different. It's a 36-18 format so it will test our endurance and test us mentally. It's going to be a long couple of days but a unique experience to go see a different golf course.”
Georgia will utilize the same lineup it opened the season with at the Dale McNamara Fall Preview; however, the route to determining the Bulldogs' playing five was quite different for the Chicago tournament. Georgia played five rounds, with each day's winner automatically securing a playing position for both events. In succession, freshmen Mary Ellen Shuman, Sammi Lee and Harang Lee qualified, followed by junior Rocio Sanchez Lobato and sophomore Manuela Carbajo Ré.
Brewer said he hoped the method would instill a winning mentality.
“Golf is a difficult sport to win," Brewer said. "Just look at people who play professionally where one or two wins a year is generally considered as great. We wanted to make our players a little uncomfortable but reward them for being low for the day. Once they earned their spot, they were able to practice on their own with our guidance. If you played well early, you got the freedom to practice on what you thought you might need to work on. Also, if you got 1- or 2-under, you had to worry about a teammate maybe making some birdies so it forced you to go ahead and try to make a few more yourself. I think it will really help us this week and hopefully the rest of the season. “
Georgia will return to Athens on Tuesday night and then turn around and depart for Oklahoma on Thursday afternoon.
“Hopefully we play well in Chicago and just go ahead and play well in Oklahoma too," Brewer said. "They're mature enough. They are used to playing back to back weeks throughout the summer. Hopefully, we'll get a little momentum playing tournament golf. With the qualifying, it will be almost three straight weeks tournament golf. I expect us to go there play well and have a chance on Tuesday. That's what we want, just a chance on that last day to win.”
Live scoring will be available throughout the tournament at www.golfstat.com.