Bulldogs Back In Action At SDSU Classic

ATHENS, Ga. —The Georgia women’s golf team will return to competition for the third time as many weeks on Monday when the Bulldogs tee off in the San Diego State Classic. The 54-hole tourney will feature 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Sante Fe, Calif.

Georgia opened the 2024 calendar with the Lady Bulldog Individual Championship on Jan. 27 and then competed as a team for the first time by finishing third at last week’s Collegiate Invitational at Guadalajara Country Club.

“I feel like we’ve played relatively well, not perfect,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “I feel like there’s a lot of positives to take from it and Jenny just got back from a tournament as well. Why not just tee it back up and act like you’re a professional golfer for a couple of weeks?”

Ffith-year senior Caterina Don led the Bulldogs with runner-up efforts in both events. Don, who already has vaulted from No. 53 to No. 18 in the NCAA’s Scoreboard rankings this spring, is eager to get back out on the course.

“It’s great,” Don said. “It keeps you in a groove. Going back West is going to be an adjustment with the time change, but it’s ok. We’ve done it before, and I think we can do it again. I just keep practicing and challenging myself during practices. Josh and I have been doing that. I’m just trying to go out without expectations every week and see what comes out at the end.”

Don will occupy the top spot in Georgia’s lineup followed by Savannah De Bock, LoraLie Cowart, Natachanok “Drive” Tunwannarux and Napat “Jenny” Lertsadwattana.

Lertsadwattana will be competing for Georgia for the first time in the Illini Invitational in early October. She missed the final fall event, the Stanford Intercollegiate, while participating in the second stage of the LPGA’s Q-School and was in Thailand competing at the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship during the first two tournaments of 2024.

“I’m looking forward to playing for UGA, as always,” Lertsadwattana said. “I feel like it should be the same feeling. It shouldn’t be different because you’re always trying to do your best. The last two tournaments were for individuals, but I was still wearing Georgia stuff so it should be the same feel.

“Traveling with the team and having the coaches is easier, and you have more support,” Lertsadwattana added. “If I travel alone and play by myself, I’m on my own. If I’m with the coaches and my teammates, it’s more fun.”

The SDSU Classic is Georgia’s sixth team tournament of the season. The Bulldogs have used nine different golfers in their lineup this season, and the quintet for San Diego will be fifth different playing five to compete for Georgia during the 2023-24 campaign.

While there are three additional regular-season events, Brewer has an eye on setting the Bulldogs’ lineup for the SEC and NCAA Championships.

“It’s more up to them,” Brewer said. “If people will play well and separate themselves, then it makes my decisions simple. If individuals don’t really perform how I think they should, I know we have people who can help. In a perfect world, five would separate and we would just move on. I don’t expect that to happen just because we have too much depth.”

No. 6 South Carolina and No. 7 Oregon top the 12-team field, which also features No. 25 Virginia, Cal Baptist, Colorado, Denver, the No. 30-ranked Bulldogs, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Francisco, Tulane and UNLV.

Don is the SDSU Classic’s defending champion. She edged teammate Jo Hua Hung by a stroke to capture medalist honors and lead Georgia to a runner-up finish a year ago.

Georgia will be paired with Colorado and Tulane for Monday’s 11:00 a.m. ET shotgun start. The Bulldogs, Buffaloes and Green Wave will tee off on holes Nos. 4-8, with live scoring available throughout the tournament at www.birdiefire.com.

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