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Archive for Saturday, August 12, 2006

Woodland wants company at NCAAs

August 12, 2006

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Gary Woodland hopes he won't have to walk alone again this year.

At the end of the 2006 season, the Kansas University junior was selected to participate in theNCAA Championships in Chardon, Ohio.

The problem was, for only the second time in 22 years, the Jayhawks did not qualify as a team and were not able to accompany him there.

"To go by myself this year, it was unfortunate," Woodland said. "It's tough to travel without your team. The best part about college golf is being around those guys."

It's no wonder then the early goal for KU coach Ross Randall and his team is to make sure the entire squad qualifies for that end-of-the-season trip.

"It was kind of an unachieved season," Randall said. "I thought we could be pretty good, and I think they felt that way, too. We just had some guys that didn't step up as well as they could have."

Kansas finished eighth out of 11 teams in the Big 12 tournament, and now will have the tough task of rebuilding after losing four fifth-year seniors.

The graduation of Pete Krsnich, Ryan Rainer, Jason Sigler and Luke Trammell means Randall has multiple holes to fill.

"That gives everybody incentive to really work hard. There's no set five already," Randall said. "The top five right now could be any of about nine guys. It's really pretty wide open."

The one spot not up for grabs is the No. 1 position held by Woodland.

Though he had some difficulties last season, struggling with both equipment and confidence issues, the Berryton native still finished tied for seventh at the Big 12 Championships. He returns to campus after competing at some of the top amateur events in the summer.

"The other good players around the country know who he is," Randall said. "He does some wild and crazy things out there, as far how far he can hit the ball. His upside is so good and he has so much potential. When he gets just part of that, he's really going to do well."

Randall also will look to seniors Tyler Docking and Barrett Martens to make notable contributions.

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