Jaguars' talented twosome leading the charge

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Augusta State golf coach Josh Gregory doesn't hold back his opinion when talking about the two difference-makers at the top of his golf lineup -- junior Henrik Norlander and sophomore Patrick Reed.

"They're the best one-two punch in the country," Gregory said. "When they're on their game, they can beat anybody.

"If both of them play well, we can beat anybody."

Norlander and Reed are two of the team's hardest workers. Norlander has been the team's No. 1 golfer his first two seasons. Reed, an accomplished junior golfer, transferred from Georgia last year. Combined, they give Augusta State its top twosome in the history of the program.

Entering the NCAA Division I Golf Championships, Reed owns the lowest season stroke average in Jaguar history at 71.0. Norlander, who has the fourth-lowest season average at 71.35, currently owns the lowest career average (71.78).

"It's great having a guy like Henrik here," Reed said. "He knows so much about the game and so much around the greens. And he's so good at it. I get to pick his brain. I can watch him.

"To have a player as good as Henrik around, it makes me motivated to practice harder and to play harder."

Norlander said: "(Reed) is a great player. That helps."

Neither player originally planned to attend Augusta State. Norlander, of Danderyd, Sweden, committed to Minnesota, but a problem with his transcripts led to him looking for another school. Frequent playing partner Kalle Edberg, then a member of the Augusta State team and a fellow Swede, suggested looking at the Jaguars.

Norlander made an immediate impact upon his arrival in 2007. His freshman season, he posted two wins and a 72.39 average. While he didn't win an event last season, Norlander lowered his average to 71.55.

"I like it a lot here," Norlander said. "A great practice facility. A great coach. Great guys. We have a lot of fun together."

Reed, a three-time American Junior Golf Association All-American, had myriad college offers as a junior golfer. He narrowed his choices to Georgia and Texas before later settling on the Athens, Ga., university.

"When I saw UGA I saw the football stadium, I saw the atmosphere, I saw the campus. I saw all the huge things," said Reed, whose family moved in 2008 to Martinez from Louisiana. "I basically picked the school for the wrong reasons.

"When I got over here, I realized this is the place for me. This is a better fit for me. You have a great coach, great guys on the team, less distractions. I couldn't be happier here."

Norlander and Reed are putting together two of the finest seasons in Augusta State history.

Norlander has posted six top-six finishes and a win. He is ranked 19th in the nation and will represent Europe in this summer's Palmer Cup. Reed, the fifth-ranked player in Division I, leads Augusta State with seven top-10 finishes in nine events and has won one tournament.

Reed said he and Norlander have a friendly rivalry on the course -- one that only makes Augusta State better.

"He's a great guy. And we're good buds," Reed said. "But at the same time in tournaments we want to beat each other. If he beats me, he's finishing really well. If I beat him, I'm finishing really well."


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