In preparation for the upcoming college season, Golfweek is breaking down the rosters of each of its preseason top 30 teams.
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2011-12 Golfweek rank: 17
Go-to girl: Lauren Taylor
Season outlook: Last year’s senior-heavy Baylor squad reached the NCAA Championship for just the second time in program history and the first time since 2004. But things will look a lot different in Waco, Texas, when school starts next week.
Four players from that NCAA squad are gone. Three (Chelsey Cothran, Jaclyn Jansen and Valerie Sternebeck) were lost to graduation, and Stani Schiavone transferred to Mississippi. Baylor’s new squad is young – and full of international talent.
Head coach Jay Goble is looking forward to what his crop of four freshmen can do this year. The most conspicuous among them is England’s Lauren Taylor, the 2011 Women’s British Amateur champion. Though Taylor has no college golf experience, Goble expects her to show immediate leadership. He said she might have as much tournament experience as the rest of the team combined.
“She’s come over to America three times now, and every time she just is having trouble getting used to the speed of the greens over here,” he said of Taylor’s game. “She’s as good a ballstriker as you could ask for.”
In addition to Taylor, Goble added Ashley Cramond from England, Annette Lyche from Norway and Natalia Perez from Bolivia (a former student at IMG Golf Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where Goble used to coach).
Baylor could travel with four freshmen and a sophomore – Hayley Davis – this season. Sophomore Emma Carberry also could contribute. It’s certainly a different look, but Goble has high expectations.
“I’m still very confident that we’re going to have a very good year,” he said.
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