Bulldogs Set To Compete In Darius Rucker Intercollegiate

Bulldogs Set To Compete In Darius Rucker Intercollegiate

ATHENS, Ga. — The No. 28-ranked Georgia women's golf team will begin an extremely busy month of March on Monday when the Bulldogs tee off at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate. The 54-hole tournament will be contested at Long Cove Club in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and feature live television coverage Monday-Wednesday on the Golf Channel.

"From a talent standpoint, it's probably the marquee event of the spring before we get to the conference championship," head coach Josh Brewer said. "With Golf Channel there, it gives us a good idea of what competing at nationals is going to be like. It's exciting and also the midpoint of our spring so we'll get a feel of where we're at. Where do we need to get better to have a chance to claim a national title at the end of the year. We're looking to continue to move forward."

The Darius Rucker is the first of four tournaments for the Bulldogs this month. Georgia will compete in the Valspar Invitational in Augusta next weekend and the Florida State Match Up on March 15-17 before hosting the 52nd annual Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic on March 29-30 at the UGA Golf Course.

The stacked field in Hilton Head includes half of the nation's top-10 teams and 10 of the top 25.

No. 2 Wake Forest leads the competing teams followed by No. 4 LSU, No. 5 South Carolina, No. 6 Arkansas, No. 7 Texas, No. 11 Auburn, No. 12 Northwestern, No. 18 Duke, No. 20 Arizona State and No. 21 Vanderbilt. Five of the seven other teams – Alabama, Baylor, the Bulldogs, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Ohio State – are currently ranked between No. 28-37, with Baylor and Prairie View A&M rounding out the competing schools.

Individually, four of the top-10 golfers in the country will be in Hilton Head. For Georgia, Caterina Don and Savannah De Bock are ranked No. 23 and No. 27, respectively, making Georgia one of only six teams in the nation with a pair other top-30 ranked golfers.

Georgia's lineup will feature De Bock, Don, LoraLie Cowart, Natachanok "Drive" Tunwannarux and Isabella Holpfer. The Bulldogs opened the spring team season with a third-place performance at the Collegiate Invitational at Guadalajara Country Club and then placed fourth at the San Diego State Classic.

De Bock joined the Bulldogs in January as a mid-year enrollee and has made an immediate impact. Currently ranked No. 52 in the world, the Belgian has three top-20 finishes in her first three collegiate tournaments, including a fifth-place showing at the SDSU Classic that led to SEC Freshman of the Week honors.

"It's going quite good," De Bock said. "I like it here. It's just amazing. I feel like I could play a little better, but it's slowly coming together. That's nice. Of course, there are days where I feel worse because I miss home, I miss my parents, I miss my family and I miss my friends, but I'm really happy to be here and to play for this team."

The four golfers who finished ahead of De Bock in San Diego all are ranked No. 11 or higher nationally, and she is excited to see another stacked field in Hilton Head.

"I'm super excited," De Bock said. "I really want to do my best and just do everything thing I can to help our team win. I can't wait to get there."

Holpfer is making her first appearance in Georgia's lineup in the spring. She competed in three of four fall tournaments and also was in the Bulldogs' playing five for the 2022 edition of the Darius Rucker.

"Everything that they do outside of golf at this tournament – that Darius Rucker is there and that he gives us a private concert – is really nice," Holpfer said. "It's a really well organized tournament, and that it's on the Golf Channel is really cool. I've heard that it's going to be a really good tournament with a lot of very good teams so obviously that makes it more exciting."

The Golf Channel's coverage will air from 2:30-5:30 on Monday-Wednesday.

"Not everyone in our lineup has played on TV in college," Brewer said. "There will be crews there. They will be walking alongside the players and coaches. It's a great learning curve for everyone so you're more comfortable when it's really important."

Georgia will be paired with Northwestern and Baylor for Monday's opening round, teeing off from No. 10 in 10-minute increments between 10:10-10:50 am ET. In addition to the television coverage, live scoring will be available via golfstat.com.

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