As the city of Augusta celebrates an unusual Masters Week, Augusta University reflects on the 10-year anniversary of its Men’s Golf back-to-back national championships.
Team members say things really changed with the transfer of Patrick Reed, who signed with the Jaguars in April 2009 after playing in three of four events during the Fall 2008 season for the Georgia Bulldogs. When he joined the Jaguars, he was ranked No. 40 in the world amateur rankings.
“When Patrick came in, the whole dynamic just sort of changed,” team member Carter Newman says. “We went from a preseason ranking barely in the Top 50 to a preseason ranking in the Top 10.”
Adding a dominant player like Reed to a team that already had a dominant player in Henrik Norlander shifted things. In Norlander — a Swede who came to Augusta and immediately made his mark with one of the best freshman seasons of any Jaguar men’s golfer in the history of the program — they’d had a player who could reliably win. With Reed, they now had two, which makes all the difference when it comes to the match play portion of the sport.
“You can’t win five matches without winning three,” Newman says, referring to the head-to-head competitions that decide things at the National Championship.
As improbable as it might have been, the 2009-10 Jaguars had the makings of a true contender.