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Talking golf

Second-year coach Marci Kornegay aims to keep the USF women’s golf team focused asthe season winds down. Kornegay brings experience from coaching in the Southeastern conference.

Rachel Edwards, who was named Big East player of the week March 13, has led the Bulls to five top 10 finishes this season.

Kornegay talks about this year’s team, the SEC and spring break.

Oracle: What were your expectations for the team this year?
Kornegay: You start the season not really knowing what your expectations are. You start realizing you have a lot of talent.

We have placed in the top 10 in five of our eight tournaments. We also finished 10th out of 46 teams at the Kiawah Invitational, which was one of the largest we have ever had.

We are always going to be raising the bar individually. The team is motivated.

Now, they know they can get to the next level. They’re pushing hard every day at practice.

O: Rachel Edwards was named Big East player of the week. What sticks out about her as a golfer?
K: Rachel is one of those fiery players when she is on the course, which plays to her advantage. She is very capable of getting a birdie on every hole.

She finished third at the JMU event. She is our go-to golfer right now.

O: What are the team’s strengths?
K: We are really starting to adapt our team plan. The shot we are taking becomes the most important shot of the day. Our mental game is coming on very strong.

O: What are some areas for improvement?
: Inconsistency. We are still working on our short game. Right now our top three golfers are pretty solid, and we are looking for a fourth to step up.

O: What did you have your team do over spring break?
K: Fortunately, we live in Florida. I only had to cancel one practice because of weather.

I felt it was a great time for the girls to take Monday through Wednesday off and just relax. I encouraged them to hang up their clubs and be college students.

We can afford to do that with the weather here. All of the other Big East teams are on burnout mode right now.

O: You have been a part of several award-winning teams with excellent GPAs. What is your favorite part of being a coach?
K: Everything. Just being able to see the light turn on is the most rewarding experience. It is really about when a player comes up and tells me they’ve got it.

You want to see your players develop in all aspects of life, not just golf.

O: This is your second year here. You have been on the coaching staff at LSU and South Carolina as well. How do those SEC programs compare to USF?
K: We have tremendous support here. We are also very fortunate to have the golf course support here in the Tampa Bay area. We can play anywhere we want, which is a real highlight of the program. You can’t compare that with any other school.