Gabriela Coello

Georgia's Gabriela Coello during the first round of the 46th annual Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic on the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga., on Friday, April 13, 2018.

The Georgia women’s golf team will compete in the NCAA East Lansing Regional on May 6-8 with an opportunity to advance to the NCAA Championships. The Bulldogs will compete in 54 holes of stroke play at the Forest Akers Golf Course West. Out of the 18 teams in the region, the top-6 will advance to the NCAAs, which are set to take place May 17-22 at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Georgia will go into the regional ranked No. 39 by Golfstat and will be competing against six top-25 teams. No. 4 Stanford is the highest-ranked team in the regional followed by No. 5 Arizona, No. 12 Kent State, No. 14 UCLA, No. 20 Michigan State, and No. 21 Campbell.

“Let’s just go play,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “If we play the way we can play and we play the way we’ve played the last month, I like our chances.”

The Bulldogs will play the same five golfers they played in the SEC Championships. Senior Rinko Mitsunaga, junior Gabriela Coello and freshmen Jenny Bae, Harmie Constantino and Jo Hua Hung will be the team for Georgia.

Georgia will be returning to the course it started its season at the Mary Fossum Invitational in September. The Bulldogs finished fourth in a 16-team field after they carded a tournament score of 3-over. Constantino finished fifth individually with a 3-under 213.

“The golf course fits us really well,” Brewer said. “To me, going up there playing well helps too. Now, you have a little more confidence and pep in your step.”

Playing the course will also benefit the team in its week of practice before the regional, according to Mitsunaga.

“I know we’re already replaying the golf course in our minds, and we know the kind of shots we need to practice here,” Mitsunaga said.

Georgia is coming off two third-place finishes at its last two events at the SEC Championships and Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic. The Bulldogs defeated No. 4 Vanderbilt in the first round of match play at the SECs before falling to eventual champion Ole Miss in the semi-final round on the 21st hole of the deciding match.

“I think we picked the right time to start gluing everything together,” Coello said. “Starting NCAA play with that momentum from SECs, we’re pretty excited.”

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