The Georgia women‚Äôs golf team dropped a tough 3-2 decision to Indiana in the match play portion of the 42nd Annual Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic at the University of Georgia Golf Course on Sunday.
Top-ranked Southern Cal edged No. 4 Arkansas, 3-2, to claim the team title.
The Bulldogs received decisive victories from sophomores Manuela Carbajo R√© and Amira Alexander. Carbajo R√© secured a 7-and-5 win over Kamryn Klawitter, while Alexander bested Sarah Dusman 6-and-4. Amelia Hill dropped a 3-and-2 decision, and Harang Lee and Sammi Lee suffered identical 4-and-3 setbacks.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve been waiting all year for someone to step up and play well and become our leader on the golf course,‚Äù Georgia coach Josh Brewer said in a release. ‚ÄúI think Manuela did that this weekend. Amira also played great last week and carried that momentum into this tournament. That‚Äôs what I was hoping for. We have two people playing really well right now.‚Äù
Carbajo R√© was 6-under throughout the Liz Murphey when you combine her 1-under in stroke play qualifying on Friday and her match play scores throughout the weekend. Earlier in the week, Alexander shot ¬†2-under 214 and was tied atop the individual leaderboard at the John Kirk Panther Intercollegiate before falling in a sudden-death playoff.
The format of the Liz Murphey was altered this year from a traditional 54-hole, stroke play event to a 72-hole tournament featuring a combination of stroke play and match play. After 18 holes of stroke play on Friday, eight-team Red and Black brackets were set for match play. Thirty-36 holes of match play on Saturday was followed by 18 holes of match play on Sunday.
The Women of Troy and Razorbacks were tied 2-2 when Gabby Then wrapped up the title for USC. Then led 1-up over Emmy Lavy through 17 holes and then won No. 18 to secure the 2-up and the decisive point in the team match.
Last September, the NCAA announced it would change the format of the NCAA women‚Äôs golf championships to a similar format beginning in 2015.
‚ÄúWe decided to change the format before we knew what the NCAA was going to do,‚Äù Brewer said. ‚ÄúWe thought it would be fun and we thought it would be a good way to end the spring before we get into post-season. We got a little lucky timing wise on the NCAA making their announcement. I give credit to the schools who committed to something different beforehand. I think it was a success. And from the people who I know want to come next year, it is going to be a success in the future.‚Äù
The Bulldogs return to action in two weekends when they compete in the Southeastern Conference championships at Greystone Golf and Country Club in Birmingham, Ala. A year ago, Georgia finished as runner-up at the SECs in Brewer‚Äôs first season at the helm.