Alabama golfers trying to live up to last year

Kevin Connell

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After a second-place finish in the Liz Murphey Fall Preview, the Alabama women’s golf team wraps up its fall season at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational this weekend from Oct. 28-30 at the University of Texas Golf Club in Austin, Texas.

The field for the tournament consists of 15 schools, with several being ranked in the top-25 nationally. Along with Alabama, the competing teams include Texas, UCLA, Arizona State, Auburn, Florida, Arkansas, Pepperdine, Denver, Illinois, Kent State, New Mexico, TCU, Tulsa and UNLV.

The impressive field doesn’t worry the experienced Crimson Tide. In fact, they aren’t even certain who exactly they’re facing.

“I actually don’t know [who we’re facing], but I’m assuming it will be a pretty good field,” junior Stephanie Meadow said. “A lot of the top 10 and higher ranked ones will probably be there. I think honestly, we haven’t really played to our potential yet. I think if we play to our potential, no one can beat us.”

Nevertheless, the team knows that there is still work to be done to prepare for the tournament ahead.

“Generally, we always work hard on putting,” head coach Mic Potter said. “Our success depends a great degree on how we can birdie par 5s. But again, it goes back to every time we go on a golf course, we need to work on our self-management.”

Despite having a talented roster, the team is maintaining sharp focus on what they plan to accomplish this weekend.

“Our goals as a team are always to play one shot at a time,” Potter said. “We want to stay really focused on every shot. The only important shot in golf is the next one. We don’t want to get emotional. It’s not really about winning or losing; it’s about playing our best.”

However, it should be pointed out that the team might be playing to one notable disadvantage: unfamiliarity with this course in Austin.

“We’ve never been there, but I know that our coach has,” Meadow said. “I’ve heard that it’s a ball striker’s course, and we’re all pretty good ball strikers. We’re a well balanced team, so it all kind of evens out for us no matter what.”

The ultimate goal for the team remains clear. They hope to match the success of last year’s national championship season.

“I think we’ll be competitive in the SEC and NCAA [tournaments], but we need to be competitive in our regular season events too,” Potter said. “We’re trying to win now, because if we do, we gear everything toward the championship.”