Tar Heels cap fall with back-to-back titles

North Carolina's Casey Grice

Jan Mann pays little attention to the win column. As her Tar Heel team went winless last season (North Carolina's last victory was at the 2011 ACC Championship), Mann says outsiders were far more concerned about it than she was. North Carolina broke that streak Oct. 7 with a victory at the Liz Murphey Fall Preview, then added another at home over the weekend. Ending the season with back-to-back victories sits well.

North Carolina, which carried a No. 10 preseason ranking by Golfweek into the beginning of the year, finished ninth (Cougar Classic) and 10th (Mason Rudolph) in its first two starts of the fall. At the Fall Preview, the Tar Heels climbed from third to first in the final round.

“We really weren’t thinking about outcome whatsoever,” Mann said. “... They played with a lot of determination and patience.”

When North Carolina teed it up at home for the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel, Mann didn’t even realize the team hadn’t won its own event since 1992. It was also the first time North Carolina has won back-to-back events since March 2004.

“It was a big accomplishment for the team,” Mann said of the Tar Heel. “We took the same mentality (from the Fall Preview) into that event.”

Mann says the team might have remained more patient than she did during the final round at UNC Finley Golf Course. With the fall portion of the season in the books, she is preparing for the team retreat and the offseason. It’s a familiar theme in the Tar Heel camp: “We work hard but we have fun doing it.”

And as for North Carolina’s 2-2 record this fall, it remains just a number.

“Winning in college golf, particularly if you’re playing a tough schedule, is not an easy thing to do.”

The Tar Heels have just made it look that way in the past month.

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