Don’t let the tube socks fool you, North Carolina comes to play.
At least one member of this top-10 team (and sometimes all five) shows up each round in knee-high white tube socks with Tar Heel blue stripes. It speaks to a team dynamic that’s sometimes unusual when college golf gets intense.
“We work hard but we want to have a good time,” head coach Jan Mann explained. “We want to keep golf in perspective and keep a balance there.”
Wardrobe aside, North Carolina seems to have found a magic formula. What the Tar Heels lack in a superstar, they make up in sheer consistency. Two of North Carolina’s starting five, Casey Grice and Jackie Chang, finished the fall ranked inside Golfweek’s top 50. Senior Allie White comes in at No. 82. Courtney Gunter and Catherine O’Donnell, who battled a thumb injury this fall before undergoing surgery in the offseason, can contribute a solid fourth score, as can Katherine Perry.
Mann, in her third year at the Tar Heel, has yet to see a team like this in Chapel Hill.
“I can’t put a finger on one individual that works harder than the other or is the deciding factor for our success,” Mann said. “Everybody contributes.”
Mann describes the team as a family, but there still are important roles played within it. That of team leader (and perhaps class clown) falls on White, who began her college career at North Carolina, transferred to Ohio State, then returned to North Carolina last season.
“To have been honored to be associated with Allie,” Mann said. “…She does keep things in perspective.”
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Top of the class: North Carolina
Best player this fall: Lindy Duncan, Duke
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2011: North Carolina
2010: Wake Forest
2009: Wake Forest
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Wondering how your favorite conference is shaping up headed into the spring season? Who is our favorite to pick up the automatic qualifier? Check out our conference-by-conference break down with our complete coverage page here.
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