With its spring season starting Monday, Augusta State’s golf team just wants a chance to make postseason play.
The two-time defending national champion Jaguars, who replaced all five starters from last season’s starting lineup, got off to a slow start in the fall. Now, Augusta State needs to get above .500.
After struggling in a tough field of events to start the fall (10th-, 11th- and 12th-place showings), Augusta State rebounded with a fourth-place finish at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate. The Jaguars finished the fall at 21-33 and will have to make up 12 spots in five spring events, including Monday’s San Diego/TaylorMade Collegiate in Chula Vista, Calif.
“Instead of worrying about the .500 rule, we need to just go out and play our very best each week,” said senior Taylor Floyd, who leads the team with a 74.17 stroke average. “We obviously didn’t play as well as we would’ve like to in the fall, but we’re still young and learning.”
Highly-acclaimed Australian Maverick Antcliff, who entered school in January, is expected to give the team a boost. Antcliff’s paperwork did not clear for the first event, but he should be ready to go for the next tournament, the Cleveland Golf/Palmetto Intercollegiate, March 5 and 6 at Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken.
“That kid’s got a ton of talent,” first-year Augusta State men’s coach Kevin McPherson said. “He’s very good.”
“Maverick’s a good player,” junior Derek Chang said. “We’re looking forward to make a move in the spring.”
• The Augusta State women start their spring season today at the UCF Challenge in Sorrento, Fla. The Lady Jaguars have four spring tournaments, including their home event, March 16-18, at Forest Hills Golf Club.
Augusta State is looking to bounce back after getting disqualified from The Challenge at Onion Creek, the final fall event, after two players failed to sign their scorecards. The Lady Jaguars would’ve placed third. Instead, the finish knocked them down about 30 spots to No. 83 in the Golfstat head-to-head poll.
“We’re trying to move on from that,” Augusta State coach Kory Thompson said. “We just want to go out and win some tournaments.”