Augusta State not a team to be counted out

Augusta State junior Henrik Norlander tees off at the Administaff ASU Invitational.

Has anyone noticed who has become the new No. 2-ranked team in the country? Unless you have taken a look at the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, you may be surprised. Augusta State has been one of the most under-appreciated teams of the year.

The Jaguars started the season with a 10th place finish at Olympia Fields, and a sixth place finish at the Gary Koch. Since then, Josh Gregory’s squad has rattled off seven straight top-5 finishes, which includes three tournament wins.

“I said I’d be lying if I thought we’d be No. 2 right now at the start of the year,” Gregory said. “The strong finishes are a sign of a good team and this is the highest-ranked team I have had since my first year here.”

Gregory’s Jags won six times during the 2002-03 season and climbed as high as No. 2 in the rankings. Despite the recent success, it still seems that Augusta State is often overlooked.

“I think if you’re not in a major conference, you traditionally get overlooked,” Gregory said. “We have a tough schedule but also have guys one through six that could win a tournament. I just don’t really think we have a weak link.”

What makes the Jaguars such a dangerous team? Well, it dates back to players’ high school days. According to Gregory, many of the guys feel they were overlooked during the recruiting process.

“These guys want to show people from the SEC, Pac 10, and Big 12 they missed out, and winning a national championship can prove that,” Gregory said.

It comes as no surprise that teams from mid-majors traditionally get over-looked. However, when the Jaguars play during the post-season, don’t ask who these guys are because I’ll just tell you, “I told you so.”

Next up for Augusta State is the Ping Cougar Classic at Riverside Country Club at the end of April. Hopefully after shooting 47 under to win their ASU Administaff Invite, they have a few more birdies left for when they travel to Utah.

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