Wildman Q&A: Georgia State coach Cathy Mant
Thursday, October 22, 2009
This week on Blog U, I spoke with Georgia State head women’s coach Cathy Mant. After struggling to begin the fall season, the Panthers won the Lady Pirate Intercollegiate on Oct. 20.
Nice win at the Lady Pirate Intercollegiate, a two-shot victory over host East Carolina. But more importantly, your ladies had the lead after the first round. After a bit of a rocky start to the fall, how important was it to be leading after the first round?
After our first three events it appeared that something was amiss. We have the talent to post great scores at each event and we have not lived up to our potential. After discussions, we determined that we were going to work on our consistency. I would say we met our goal this past tournament with three rounds of 293. Having the led on the first day was a boost to our team. It was very important to get the monkey off our back.
Charlotte Lorentzen has been playing like a No. 1 for you the past year. Where did you find her and how do you think she has fit in to your program?
You are right in saying that Charlotte has played very well for us. Charlotte is from Denmark and we (Georiga State) have a history with Danes. Charlotte is the third Dane to join our team. Lisbeth Meincke was our first Dane and she had a tremendous career while at Georgia State. Cathrine Madsen is our second Dane and she has stepped up her game the past two years. Charlotte was looking at programs in the U.S. in order to continue working on her game while getting an education. She contacted me about our program and I was thrilled, because I had seen Charlotte play in the Junior Orange Bowl in Miami and recognized her great talent. She is an extremely hard worker and I believe that she has fit in very well with our team.
Last year several people, including myself, thought you were going to make some noise in the postseason. Unfortunately, the team failed to make it out of NCAA regionals. What did the team learn from that and how have they motivated themselves since?
Not qualifying for the NCAA Championship was a major disappointment for our team last spring. We definitely had the talent but didn’t perform well at the NCAA regionals. We have addressed this issue and we will revisit it again during the latter part of the spring. The timing of the regionals is difficult for many schools. We finished finals the day before we left for regionals and on top of that we had to have the girls moved out of the dorm and signed off by the housing officials. We were moving things to a storage unit during this time, too. As a result of finals and moving, we were not able to practice much at all the last two weeks. I am proud to say that our team performed very well in the classroom but our golf was not up to par.
As a coach at a mid-major school is it hard to get your teams in to “big name” events?
I am glad that you asked this question because it is a major concern for us mid-majors. It has been very difficult to get into the “big name” events and the frustration is that our ranking depends on our performance against the top 25-40 teams. It is not impossible to break into the top 25, but it is extremely difficult if a team does not have exposure to the bigger events. Louisville and Denver are two teams that have been successful in breaking through and getting invites to some of the major tournaments. My team has been offered an opportunity to play in three top tournaments this year and for that I am very thankful. I have contacted the bigger programs and asked to be considered for their events. In most cases we have been turned down because the field has been set. I take my hat off to the teams that are hosting larger events and have adopted the policy of inviting the top 10 teams from the previous year’s tournament, and then opening up their tournament to some new teams. I wish this was the case in more events.
Lance Ringler and I often disagree about the parody in women’s golf. In your opinion how deep does it go?
Asher, I really don’t think it goes very deep and all of us are constantly trying to reach a level where the talent goes down to the sixth player. I think there are a handful of teams with great players and I would say that Arizona State, USC, UCLA have tremendous teams that are deep. I think taking a look at the Golfstat stat that records the dropped score for each team would help answer the question.
If there was one thing you would like your team to improve on from the fall to the spring, what would it be and why?
I would like my team to improve on their short game because it is the area that can help us go low and can keep us competitive on days when the ball striking isn’t the best.