Women's golf: Georgia, Arizona tied for lead after Day 1 of Bryan Regional
BRYAN, Texas -- No. 6-ranked Georgia fired a 3-under 285 -- the Bulldogs' second-best score ever in NCAA Regional or Championship competition -- to grab a share of the first-round lead at the NCAA Bryan Regional on Thursday.
Georgia is tied with No. 11 Arizona. The Bulldogs' only better NCAA score was a 7-under 281 in the third round of the 2003 NCAA East Regional.
"I'm very happy," head coach Josh Brewer said. "They've been playing well all year, and today they performed the same way. We had a lot of birdie chances throughout the line, 1 through 5."
Georgia received a trio of par-or-better efforts -- a 3-under 69 from Bailey Tardy, a 2-under 70 from Jillian Hollis and an even-par 72 from Harang Lee. The Bulldogs also counted a 74 from Rinko Mitsunaga, while dropping Mary Ellen Shuman's 75.
"Everyone played well today," Lee said. "We had two scores under par, and we needed it. As long as we keep doing the same things tomorrow and Saturday, this will be a very good tournament for us."
The Bulldogs started relatively hot, playing the first five holes at 4-under, but stumbled late on the front side and turned at 3-over. Georgia then covered the first six holes of the back side at 7-under to move back into red numbers on the day.
"We had a short mental breakdown on a few swings, but I knew we would bounce back," Brewer said. "I saw Mary Ellen birdie No. 13, then saw Bailey birdie No. 8, No. 10 and No. 11 and then saw Jillian birdie No. 9. The way we were playing was the way we played in Puerto Rico and last fall. We had a swagger and a confidence. It was fun to see. You can sense a great energy right now around the team."
Tardy is tied for third individually, two shots off the pace of Gonzaga's Bianca Pagdanganan.
Following the Bulldogs and the Wildcats and rounding out the top-10 teams are No. 19 Furman and Campbell at 288, No. 3 UCLA at 289, Miami at 290, No. 23 Texas A&M at 292, TCU and Texas both at 293 and Texas State and Louisville at 296.