Caterina Don

Georgia golfer Caterina Don during a photoshoot at the UGA Golf Course on Aug. 14, 2019. (Courtesy UGA Sports Communications)

With a third-place and then a second-place finish at the 2018 and 2019 Ladies' Italian Match Play Championship, Georgia's Caterina Don looks to improve one more spot and take the 2020 title. She got off to good start on Tuesday.

Don, ranked No. 9 in the world among amateur women, shot the lowest of 65 amateur golfers in the tournament's qualifying rounds over July 7-8. 

The rising sophomore from Pinerolo, Italy, finished 5-under 67 and 3-under 69 to outpace world No. 3 Alessia Nobilio by five shots in the Italian Golf Federation tournament. She was one of three competitors to finish under par heading into elimination play on Thursday.

Although it was her first time on the links in nearly four months, Don maintained her momentum through the first round of match play. With a four-shot lead through fifteen holes, Don beat Caterina Tatti, the final golfer to sneak inside the qualifying cut.

Stouter competition followed in Francesca Fiorellini, who pushed their match to a 19th hole playoff. Yet Don emerged victorious once more, staking her claim in the tournament quarterfinals scheduled today.

She opposes rising Arizona State junior and world No. 96 Alessandra Fanali. Fanali has faced little resistance in match play so far, playing a total of 30 holes to Don's 34. The winner will compete in the semifinals slated for 6:45 a.m. EST, and continue her quest for the 2020 Giuseppe Silva Trophy. 

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