After first title, Jaguars were challenged to repeat

'Why not us?'

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The date -- Sept. 13, 2010 -- is one the Augusta State golf team will always remember.

Members of the 2010 Augusta State golf team -- including Jacob Carlsson (from left), Carter Newman, Olle Bengtsson, Henrik Norlander and Patrick Reed -- were honored at the White House.   Michael Holahan/File
Michael Holahan/File
Members of the 2010 Augusta State golf team -- including Jacob Carlsson (from left), Carter Newman, Olle Bengtsson, Henrik Norlander and Patrick Reed -- were honored at the White House.

The spoils of winning the school's first national championship: eating cookies and sipping lemonade on the South Lawn at the White House. Later, President Obama addressed the team, shaking hands with the golfers.

"You guys are all scratch players?" the president asked. "I need some help with my game."

Three months earlier, the Jaguars had turned the golfing world on its head when they advanced to match play at the NCAA Division I Championship at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. They knocked off in-state rival Georgia Tech, Atlantic Coast Conference power Florida State and top-ranked Oklahoma State in succession.

The thrill of bringing home a national title was matched by the excitement of traveling to the nation's capital.

Jaguars coach Josh Gregory missed the trip because his wife, Ashley, delivered their first child, James Baxley, hours before the group's flight left Augusta for Washington.

Four days after visiting sites around the National Mall and stepping foot onto the property at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Augusta State opened its new season. Against an elite field in Illinois, the Jaguars tied for second.

With all five starters back from the national championship team, the first tournament served as a reminder that the Jaguars were for real.

It also reaffirmed to Gregory his team was in the midst of something special. At the beginning of the season, he told his squad it had a chance to make history. No team had won consecutive national titles since Houston in 1984-85.

"Why not us?" Gregory said. "Somebody's got to do it. Somebody's got to break the streak.

"I don't know if winning the second could ever be the same as the first, but I'd sure like to find out."

About the section

The Augusta Chronicle's Chris Gay covered the Augusta State golf team throughout the 2010-11 season. He witnessed the Jaguars' run through the NCAA Division I Golf Championship in Stillwater, Okla., writing daily stories, shooting photos and video, and updating live action on Twitter. This special section commemorates the school's second consecutive title.


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