Dan Brooks team will head to the peach state with just four players from the six member team participating. The dukies star players Liz Janangelo and Virada Nirapathpongporn will be at the LPGAs first major of the year, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Talk about pressure.
In the midst of perhaps the greatest season ever in the womens game, four young women will have the burden of trying to extend the streak to eight. They do so knowing there is no room for error. A quick refresher, a normal event will have five players competing, with the top four scores counting. Hurdle No. 1, Duke will not have the luxury of a throw out score this week.
Hurdle No. 2, two first team All-Americans will be 3000 miles away competing with the best professionals in the world. A vocal senior leader, two freshmen, and a player who spent the fall season rehabbing from hip surgery will have to get the job done for the streak to continue.
I believe Leigh Anne Hardin is the key to success at this tournament. A two time All-American, Hardin has had some ups and downs while refining her swing, but will need to lead by example with strong play for three days. If this occurs, it will benefit Brittany Lang and Anna Grzebien, two newcomers who have steadily improved as this year has moved forward. Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh is nearly 100 percent after the surgery which kept her off the course for several months.
They say the true test of greatness is how one responds when things dont go according to plan. That being said, the plan is the same for Brooks and his team, as they intend on doing what they have done all year long, win.
From top to bottom, this team is as talented as any we have ever seen. But will we see just how great they are? Only time will tell.
Brooks and his troops are attacking this just like any other event, putting no extra pressure on themselves. All that being said, there is a feeling in the air as all eyes will be on Athens to see if Duke is as good as I think they are.
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