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Saturday, April 20, 2013
BRASELTON, Ga. - There are seven Atlantic Sun teams ranked ahead of the Lipscomb Bisons in the Golfweek Rankings.
But Will Brewer, director of golf for LU, doesn't think his team is playing for eighth place at the conference tournament Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at The Legends Course at Chateau Elan.
"Rankings are rankings," Brewer said. "They don't mean anything except that you have to have a certan ranking to get in the NCAA Tournament. If you just look at rankings we are suppoed to finish eighth, but we don't look at rankings that way.
"It's skewed a little bit by what you have done. We have beaten Belmont, a close rival in a different conference now, three times this year and they are still ranked 40 spots ahead of us. That makes you scratch your head."
North Florida (No. 18), Kennesaw State (52), Mercer (73) and ETSU (76)are each ranked in the top 100.
All Brewer can really control is his team. He thinks his players, coming off a second place finish in the TSU Big Blue Intercollegiate, are ready to compete at a high level this week.
"I feel confident that we are very prepared and that we going to have a good week," Brewer said. "From February until now the improvements in the team are like night and day.
"Our top five players are swinging well. Their rhythms are good. For us, it all comes down to are we going to be able to put it all together for every player? Are they going to have peak performances on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday?
"I don't know. You can't predict that. But I believe we are set up to do that. We are sharp. If we get things going well early I think that momentum will carry us."
Brewer's team for the A-Sun Championship will be seniors Blanton Farmer and Alex Cox; juniors Ryan Terry and Dustin Wilder and sophomore Paul Kleine-Kracht.
"Those five have consistently had the best averages and their stats are the best," Brewer said. "They have competed well both in the fall and spring.
"Everyone of them has played this golf course. We have focused on issues that we have recognized we can mprove. I am seeing different levels of improvement."
Brewer has seen a vast improvement in the scoring of his players on par five holes. But they spent this past week continuing to work on the short game.
"It is kind of like the hour before an exam," Brewer said. 'There is not much we can do right now."
Brewer expects Cox and Farmer to be at the top of their games as they both potentially could be playing their last tournament.
"Alex has really been motivated and has shown the most dramatic improvement over the past six weeks," Brewer said. "We have tweaked his putting a little bit. And we have tweaked his take away on his swing.
"He is putting better. He is striking the ball better. He has more confidence."
Farmer has been the model of consistency this season.
"Blanton always plays well," Brewer said. "Some days he makes a few more putts and plays better than others. He is a gamer."
Brewer thinks that Wilder has gradually improved his play this season. He also expects a solid performance from Terry.
"Dustin has a little more confidence than when we started the season in California," Brewer said. "He is playing well.
"We have tweaked his swing. We have his body sequence in the right order. He is beginning to get confident with it."
Brewer thinks that Kleine-Kracht could be one of the surprises of the tournament.
"Paul is swinging so well right now," Brewer said. "If we can just get a couple of good things going for him in the short game and get a few putts to go in early he will challenge."
Brewer always stresses the need for a strong short game. In a conference tournament setting he puts even more of a premium on that aspect of the game.
"In championships, when the pressure is mounting, it can help you a lot if you are a good putter," Brewer said. "All five of our players are putting better.
"If we go down there and play well we have the ability to finish in the top four or top five. Realistically, we will probably finish somewhere between No. 4 and No. 8 . We have set a goal, but we aren't telling anybody what that goal is."