Darton State College golf has won 11 straight Region 17 championships-- it's a streak that deserves some recognition.
While a 12th trip with the trophy seems likely this weekend, all of Darton State's championship momentum hinges on the Cavaliers short game.
The putting and chipping have escaped the Cavaliers during recent tournaments leading to some mixed results. Darton State won its Doublegate Invitational at Albany's Doublegate Country Club, but settled for fifth at the Ron Marshall Spring Fling in Scottsboro, Ala.
Entering Sunday's tournament at Tifton's Golf Club of South Georgia, the putting green has been the only focus for the Darton golfers.
During recent practices, Cavaliers head coach Bill Jones III has planted his team on the greens and they haven't worked on any other aspect of the game. With consistent practice hopefully leading to consistent play, the Cavaliers hope confidence can cure their putting ailments.
"If you're confident in what you're doing and you know you can make the putt, that's where the best players are...the best players," Coach Jones said. "Our guys, for the most part, have pretty good looking strokes and they do everything fundamentally well. I just don't think they have confidence that they're going to make the putt."
Darton State is using competition to decide its final spot on the five-man region team. Freshman Madison Turner and sophomore Robert Robertson are in the middle of a two-day playoff for the fifth tournament spot.