Keep An Eye on the Group in Athens

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College Central presented by PINGWhile UCLA and Duke have been garnering much of the attention in the womens golf world, and rightfully so, there is a team out there which has shown early on they wont be intimidated by the big two.
 
The Georgia Bulldogs already have a win under their belt, along with a sixth and third place finish in its other two fall events. Most recently, Todd McCorkles team battled it out with the Bruins and Blue Devils at the Mason Rudolph to fall just three shots out of the top spot.
 
The team, which returns all five starters from a season ago, is primed to make some noise on the National scene. Two players have captured medalist honors, Kelly Froelich at the Dick McGuire Inviational and Jackie Beers this past weekend at the Mason Rudolph. The key to any squad competing for team championships is to have at least one of the players regularly in the hunt for individual honors. Made up of a senior, two juniors and two sophomores, McCorkles team is appearing to unify as one.
 
When I spoke with McCorkle on Monday, he talked about how pleased he is with his teams performance so far this fall. While somewhat disappointed in not winning in Nashville, he is looking at it from the perspective of the glass being half full. We didnt play our best golf, but yet hung in with the two best teams in the country. Although we would have liked to win, my team is now understanding what it takes to win golf tournaments.
 
In my opinion that is half the battle. Knowing you can stay competitive when not playing your best is an attribute that can only help any team as a season continues to progress.
 
McCorkle is no stranger to winning National Championships, as he led Arizona in 2000 and Georgia in 2001 to the Holy Grail. Regarded by many as one of the top coaches in America, McCorkle once again is bringing a team to the heights of the college golf world. With two more top recruits committed to his program for 2005, dont be surprised to see the Bulldogs keeping a firm hold as one of the teams to beat in the years to come.
 
I am not going to say Georgia will beat Duke and UCLA every time they tee it up. But if their early-season play is any indication of how they will perform when going against the very best, the time for McCorkle to capture National Title No. 3 may not be too far away.
 
Whether in 05 or 06, make sure you keep an eye on the group in Athens.
 
Email your thoughts to Steve Burkowski
 
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