The Georgia women’s golf team started the 2019-20 season at the Minnesota Invitational, finishing tied for sixth after the final round on Tuesday.
Freshman Caterina Don outshined the rest of the team as she finished first at 9-under par 135. Don, a native of Pinerolo, Italy, earned medalist honors in her collegiate debut and became the first to do so for Georgia since Summer Sirmons in 1998.
“It's a really special start to college golf for one of the best players in the world,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “It's a great kickstart to her season and all of our individual performances overall.”
After starting with a pair of pars on Tuesday, Don birdied No. 14 and No. 16 to return to 10-under. She bogeyed her final hole, No. 3, but she already held a two-shot lead and finished the fourth-best-relation-to-par individual tournament score in school history.
Besides Don, the other freshman sensation, Céleste Dao, finished in 41st, while sophomores Jo Hua Hung and Jenny Bae finished in 17th and 63rd, respectively. Senior Kelsey Kurnett finished in 72nd.
The Minnesota Invitational was cut short from 54 holes to 36 due to three separate delays and finally the weather ended play early on Monday.
“It was probably as challenging a day mentally as it was physically,” Brewer said. “It’s tough when there’s wind and rain and with these storms lightning, which means you know you’re probably going to get pulled off the course. You just have to stay patient.”
The Bulldogs will return to action in three weeks when they travel to Portland, Oregon, for an event co-hosted by Oregon State and Nike.
“Now that we have a tournament under our belts, we’ll come back to Athens and focus on what we need to as a team, and more importantly, individually,” Brewer said. “We feel like we’re a better team than a sixth-place finish here. We’ll be excited to head west in a couple of weeks and improve on this performance.”