Women's preview: Big East Conference

Women's preview: Big East Conference

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Women's preview: Big East Conference

Last year, Christina Miller fought for the fifth spot on the Ole Miss squad. Upon returning home to South Florida and joining the Bulls roster, Miller became a different player.

For the powerful junior, the key was finding more balance between golf and the other aspects of her life. Head coach Marci Kornegay isn’t sure she’s ever seen someone diagnose that problem so quickly, make a life change and find immediate success. Miller won her first start with the Bulls at the Golfweek Program Challenge, and won another title at the USF Waterlefe Invite.

“She’s not on the golf course eight hours a day like she was at Ole Miss,” Kornegay said. “She really breaks up her time, it’s more of a quality practice. She’ll spend an hour, two hours of really good practice and then she’s done.”

South Florida benefits from something like a magnetic force that attracts local players back to the Tampa Bay area even after they’ve ventured away and played for other teams. Miller was one of three transfers to return south this fall. It left Kornegay unsure what the start of the season would bring.

“Our team dynamic changed drastically when you bring in four really solid players that had made an impact at their prior school, they just wanted to get closer to their hometowns,” Kornegay said.

Amy West, a transfer from Daytona State College (the third to finish two years at Daytona and play for Kornegay), also found an immediate spot in the lineup. Southern Mississippi’s Kelsey Gibson and Stetson’s Anna Hancock complete the core of transfers.

South Florida ended the season with back-to-back wins at the Waterlefe and the Lady Paladin Invitational. But the ultimate indicator of how much this team has changed is that Shena Yang, a Bulls standout who qualified for NCAA regionals as an individual each of the last two years, wasn’t even in the lineup at the Paladin. She was challenged for her starting spot all fall, which surprised Kornegay.

“That’s the optimism behind fall golf,” Kornegay said. “… I know what their level of play is like.”

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Top of the class: Notre Dame

Best player in the fall: Christina Miller

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Past champions

2007: Louisville

2008: Notre Dame

2009: Louisville

2010: Louisville

2011: Notre Dame

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Conference capsules

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Complete coverage

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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