Never Too Early to Make an Impact


The list of recent standouts in Womens Division I golf is now the bright future on the LPGA Tour. Beth Bauer, Natalie Gulbis, and Lorena Ocoha are now making waves, while making a few dollars as well. The trend is continuing on the college level once again. Four players in particular are making their presence known, while still in their first year at the collegiate level.
Erica Blasberg has already picked up two victories while matriculating at The University of Arizona. The first year player from California has stepped in nicely for Greg Allens team, and appears to have unlimited potential for success. My one concern may be a concern for Allen as well. The past two years have seen Gulbis and Ocoha leave school after their freshman and sophomore seasons respectively. Strong play and the lure of big bucks in the professional ranks may once again rob the college game of another talented star.
Liz Janangelo is also showing the country that her game is good enough to excel while in the midst of her first year at Duke. Janangelo went to Durham as perhaps the most coveted junior golfer, and her performance in the fall indicates her prowess on the links. Janangelo took home medallist honors at The Tar Heel Invitational, in just her third tournament at the next level. The Connecticut native compliments an already stacked Blue Devil team looking to defend their national title in May.
Maybe no newcomer made a bigger impact than Tennessees Violeta Retamoza. Winning twice in the fall, including her first college event, shows this native of Mexico is all business. Another potential red flag is whether or not Retamoza will follow suit of fellow countrywoman Ocoha, and opt for the pros if she continues to play well in the collegiate game.
There may be more pressure on Carolina Llano than any other newcomer in the nation. Llano enrolled at Pepperdine in January. With it came the statement from head coach Laurie Gibbs that with this addition, her team has no reason not to win the national title. Granted, the Waves have two great seniors in Lindsey Wright and Katherine Hull, but it is now with Llano that Gibbs believes her group is now a contender. A fourth place in Tucson shows Gibbs may be right on.
The tale in the end is two fold. The young talent in the game seems to be everywhere. But it is a special few which make their mark earlier than most. With it comes the big question. Will these potential superstars stay in college long enough for us to enjoy their journey to stardom? Only time will tell.