We are counting down the top 30 women’s teams heading into the fall college season.
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2012-13 Golfweek rank: 22
Go-to girl: Junior Hayley Davis
Season outlook: Last season’s young team that consisted of four freshman, three sophomores and a junior gained plenty of experience, winning the Hurricane Invitational and finishing second in five events. The Bears missed out on the NCAA Championship by one spot at the NCAA West Regional. With all but one player back, coach Jay Goble will no doubt expect more this season.
Junior Hayley Davis finished last season with a 72.88 stroke average and earned All-Big 12 honors. She finished in the top 10 in eight of 11 starts, including a victory at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate. Davis also had two runner-up finishes and will again anchor the Baylor lineup.
However, the Bears will feel the loss of England’s Lauren Taylor, who decided to turn pro after one season and plans to attend Ladies European Tour Q-School later this year. Taylor became the second freshman in conference history to win medalist honors at the Big 12 Championship, where she led the Bears to a runner-up finish. Taylor also notched three other top 5s and was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
Junior Emma Carberry is likely to slide into Taylor’s No. 2 spot after posting five top 25s and a 75.52 stroke average, and sophomore Laura Lonardi is a favorite for another starting spot after closing strong last season. Sophomores Annette Lynch and Natalia Perez saw action in eight and seven events, respectively, last season, and freshman Margaret Byers of San Antonio also should compete for playing time right from the start.