Georgia’s Jenny Bae wins Juli Inkster Award, exemption to LPGA event

Georgia’s Jenny Bae was named the recipient of the 2023 Inkster Award, which recognizes the highest-ranked women’s collegiate golfer in her final year of eligibility. Bae, a three-time All-American, receives an exemption to the LPGA’s Portland Classic Aug. 31-Sept. 3.

The award is named after Juli Inkster, a World Golf Hall of Famer and three-time All-American at San Jose State (1979-82).

Bae will also participate in a two-day mentorship retreat with Inkster, advances to the second stage of the LPGA Q-School and receives $50,000 from Workday and the Juli Inkster Foundation.

“Juli Inkster is an inspiration and such a role model on and off the course, her Hall-of-Fame career speaks for itself,” Bae said in a statement. “To receive this award from Juli and to have her as my mentor is an honor beyond words. I’m excited for the next step in my career and to test my skills against the best players in the world on the LPGA Tour.”

Bae, a fifth-year senior, finished the season as the fourth-ranked Division I women’s college golfer according to Golfstat and fifth-ranked in the Golfweek rankings.

“Jenny had a remarkable career at Georgia, persevered through the challenges of the global pandemic to earn her college degree and excelled on the golf course with an amazing senior season,” Inkster said. “That says a lot about not only her performance on the course but also about her goals and passions away from it and putting education as a priority. I look forward to mentoring Jenny as she navigates the next stage in her professional and personal journeys.”

Bae ended her collegiate career by leading Georgia to a 14th place finish at the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships. She had eight top-five finishes in 12 events as a senior. She compiled a 70.75 season stroke average, the lowest single-season stroke average in Georgia history. She also finished runner-up at the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, finishing at 9-under par and tied with Rose Zhang before falling on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff.

Bae made her professional debut this past weekend on the Epson Tour, competing in the Nova Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship. She missed the cut.