We are counting down the top 30 women’s teams heading into the fall college season.
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2012-13 Golfweek rank: 15
Go-to girl: Junior Gemma Dryburgh
Season outlook: Under head coach Andrew Pratt, the Green Wave posted a program-best ninth-place finish at last spring’s NCAA Championship, won the Conference USA Championship, had four runner-up finishes and three additional top 4s. But Pratt left after the season to become associate head coach at Auburn and has been replaced by former Michigan State assistant Lorne Don.
The loss of Maribel Lopez Porras, Tulane’s No. 1 player last season, will be felt, but Don has four returning starters to work with, led by junior Gemma Dryburgh of Scotland, who set a 54-hole school scoring record (8-under 208) in winning the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational and was second on the team with a 73.75 scoring average. Sophomores Silvos Garces of Colombia, Emily Penttila of Finland and Madison Opfer, the team’s lone American, joined Dryburgh in playing 11 events last season, with Penttila posting four top 10s in her seven spring starts. Garces tied for fourth with Pentilla at the C-USA Championship, and Opfer finished third at the NCAA East Regional.
Two more international players – Belen Goicoechea of Argentina and Olivia Winning of England – join the roster as freshmen, and if one can provide consistency in the No. 5 spot, Tulane should have just as much success this season, even with a new coach and without Lopez Porras.
– Cassie Stein