The little school that could

The golf team was greeted by more than 200 fans as they arrived back in town Sunday night.

The white van adorned with Augusta State University decals pulled into the parking lot behind the flashing blue lights of the patrol car.

 

At 9:24 p.m. June 6, Henrik Norlander grabbed the inside handle and started to open the door.

The other golfers stopped him. Get the trophy, they said before unbuckling the seat belt protecting the Jaguars' prized possession.

Norlander handed it to Carter Newman, who grew up in one of the world's most famous golf towns.

"Here, C-New, you take the trophy," Norlander said. "You're from Augusta."

When the door slid open, Newman emerged holding the NCAA Division I golf championship trophy above his head. The crowd of about 200 fans cheered as the rest of the players and their coach stepped out of the van.

Earlier in the day, Augusta State had knocked off one of the most storied programs in college golf, defeating Oklahoma State, 3-1-1, in the final match at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn.

Josh Gregory talked about winning a national title when he was introduced as coach in September 2002. Over the years, he watched his program win plenty of tournaments and climb as high as No. 2 in the national rankings.

But no team came together quite like this one, and no year fell into place like 2010.

Gregory helped guide his team to the school's first NCAA national title. In September, he and his wife, Ashley, expect the arrival of their first child.

"It doesn't get any better than this," Gregory said.

Day 1: Stroke play »


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