Tide Women's Golf Tough To Beat

Mic Potter has made Alabama a national power in women's golf. Once upon a time, the Crimson Tide would be thrilled to get to the NCAA Championship Tournament. Bama is now at the point where the national title is such a realistic goal that finishing merely top ten, as was the case in 2011, is a disappointment.

Not to get ahead of itself, Alabama can't help but think about the 2012 NCAA Championship Tournament, which will be held on a familiar course for the Crimson Tide. The Crimson Tide finished second at the Mason Rudolph Fall Preview at the Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn., and Bama expects to be back on that course for the NCAA tournament May 22-25. And, if anything, it will be more advantageous to the Tide since it will be longer than in the fall and will also have new greens. The Bent grass has been replaced with Bermuda, which Alabama practices on daily at the Jerry Pate Golf Center at Ol' Colony Golf Course in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama returns to action next week with the first tournament of the spring at the All-State Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate at English Turn in New Orleans on Sunday-Tuesday.

Alabama is ranked second in the nation following a fall schedule. Bama finished fall play on a high note, winning the SEC/Pac-12 Challenge at Holston Hills in Knoxville. Among he victims was number one UCLA.

"There are not too many other college golf teams – maybe none – that have two Curtis Cup players on it," said Alabama Coach Mic Potter.

One of those players, sophomore Stephanie Meadow, was the individual winner in that SEC-Pac-12 Challenge as she turned in a five-under-par 211.

The Curtis Cup will be played June 8-10 at Nairn Golf Club in Scotland. The team representing Great Britain & Ireland includes Meadow, a native of Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, who plays out of Royal Portrush Golf Club. She has played in a tournament at Nairn.

The other Curtis Cup participant, representing the United States, is Crimson Tide senior Brooke Pancake of Chattanooga.

In addition to those two, Potter has another All-America in Canadian national champion Jennifer Kirby, a junior. Kirby was individual winner at the Mason Rudolph in the fall.

Potter said, "It used to be if you had two or three good players you would win. Now depth is the key. You have to have that fifth player. We have great players at the top and now we have constant competition."

Hannah Collier, a sophomore from Birmingham, made what Potter described as unprecedented progress in her first year, going from a player who might shoot 90 to a player shooting in the 60s. She is in competition with freshman Johanna Tillstrom of Sweden, junior Courtney McKim of Raleigh, North Carolina, redshirt freshman Jessica Schall of Lake Mary, Fla., freshman Taylor Manning of Brentwood, Tenn., and freshman Daniela Lendl of Vero Beach, Florida, (daughter of all-time tennis great Ivan) for the fourth and fifth positions.

In the fall, Pancake averaged 71.75 per 18 holes over 12 rounds; Kirby averaged 72.25; Meadow 73.17; and Collier 73.34. Tillstrom and McKim played six rounds with Tillstrom averaging 74 and McKim 76.17.

Potter said, "If we play to our potential, we are very difficult to beat."

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