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Women’s spring preview: Big South

Editor’s note: Over the next month, Golfweek.com will be previewing every conference that has an automatic bid into the NCAA Regionals. For all of the women’s conference capsules, click here.

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Coastal Carolina is looking to become the third team in Big South Conference Championship history to have three individual medalists in three consecutive years.

Winthrop was the first team do so when the Big South first started women’s golf from 1989-1991 and UNC Greensboro did it from 1995-1997.

This will be Coastal Carolina’s second chance to complete the trifecta, as players from the team won an individual title in 2005 and 2006.

In 2012, Coastal Carolina standout Brittany Henderson won the 2012 individual title in a record-breaking performance, finishing with a 2-under 214 – the lowest 54-hole score and lowest under-par total in championship history.

“To be honest, we (Henderson and I) really don’t talk on the course that much,” said Coastal Carolina head coach Katie Quinney. “I probably only saw her hit four shots that whole tournament, but she put together three solid rounds of golf together, and that’s all that mattered.”

In 2011, as a sophomore, Jessica Alexander won the title and helped the team make an appearance at the NCAA East Regional. She was named the 2011 Big South Golfer of the Year and now has 14 top-10 finishes for Coastal Carolina.

Over the past year or so, Henderson has really learned how to enjoy golf, and not take it too seriously.

“She is just enjoying golf, and it has started to pay off for her,” Quinney said. “As a team we’ve been working a lot on priorities. And for Brittany, she can’t think about studying when she’s golfing, and golf while she’s studying. She has to do one thing at a time.”

It has paid off, Henderson has 11 top-10 finishes as a Chant, including making three NCAA Regional starts in three years on the team.

“Brit is going to be one of those players that is going to be really hard to replace,” said Quinney. “She’s a silent leader. She practices non-stop and has straight A’s. She doesn’t flaunt it (her talent), and leads through example.”

They have another tough schedule this spring, starting at the UCF Invitational on Feb. 10. Quinney thinks that they play such a good schedule that, hopefully, their hard work will pay off at championships when they come face-to-face with Big South powerhouse Campbell University.

“We have the depth and talent to win it this year, both the team and individual titles, I just hope we have the confidence to do it,” said Quinney.

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Where it stands now

Top of the class: Campbell

Best player of the fall: Jessica Alexander, Coastal Carolina

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Past champions

2008: Charleston Southern

2009: Coastal Carolina

2010: Charleston Southern

2011: Coastal Carolina

2012: Campbell

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Conference capsules

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