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This week's syllabus: Oct. 8-14

THE FAB FIVE
My look at the top five teams in the country right now

MEN
Thumbnail image for Oklahoma-state-logo-latest.jpg1. Oklahoma State (Last week: 1)
You get the feeling some of the best golf you'll see all season in the college ranks could be found by watching the qualifiers coach Mike McGraw runs at Karsten Creek GC. The good news for Cowboys fans worried about potential complacency is that given the guys on the roster, motivation shouldn't be an issue.
Next event: Isleworth Collegiate Invitational, Isleworth CC, Windermere, Fla., Oct. 25-27

Thumbnail image for Arizona State logo 2008-09.gif2. Arizona State (2)
It will be interesting to see who steps up to be the Sun Devils' No. 1 starter. Seemingly anyone on their roster has the talent to do it. My guess is it will be Scott Pinckney. Headline writers can only hope it's not Tristen Bierenbroodspot.
Next event: Isleworth Collegiate Invitational, Isleworth CC, Windermere, Fla., Oct. 25-27

Thumbnail image for Illinois logo 2008-09.gif3. Illinois (NR)
With their six-stroke victory this week at the Windon Memorial, the Fighting Illini have now won nine times in their last 16 tournament starts. Hard to believe, then that the highest ranked Illinois player in the Golfstat ranking is Scott Langley at No. 70. That's a stat that's going to change very shortly.
Next event: Isleworth Collegiate Invitational, Isleworth CC, Windermere, Fla., Oct. 25-27

Thumbnail image for Washington logo 2008-09.gif4. Washington (3)
Never mind for a minute how good a golf team the Huskies are. There is no team that's more connected with its fan base. Washington has not one but two blogs that follow the team (my personal preference is huskygolf.blogspot.com) as well as Twitter and Facebook pages. Of course, in the land of Microsoft, hard not to think the Huskies would be tech savvy. 
Next event: Idaho Vandal, Idaho CC, Moscow, Idaho, Oct. 11-12

Florida State logo 2009-10.gif5. Florida State (NR)
Seath Lauer and Brooks Koepka come through big in the win at the Gary Koch last weekend. Once Drew Kittleson comes around, we might have a new frontrunner for best team in the ACC.
Next event: Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate, Old Overton CC, Birmingham, Ala., Oct. 12-13

WOMEN
Thumbnail image for Arizona State logo 2008-09.gif1. Arizona State (1)
If the Sun Devils learned anything from their fourth-place finish at the Mason Rudolph it's that nobody is going to just hand over another NCAA title to them. Says here the loss was a good thing in the long run for a squad that's a fair bit younger than the one that won the national championship last May.
Next event: Stanford Intercollegiate, Stanford GC, Palo Alto, Calif., Oct. 16-18

Thumbnail image for USC 2008-09 logo.gif2. USC (2)
Sure, Jennifer Song didn't make a bogey in her two rounds at the Mason Rudolph. But did you know she also didn't miss a fairway, didn't miss a green in regulation on a par 3 and averaged 26.5 putts per round. No one is expecting her to keep this up, but it makes her next start at Stanford that much more interesting to follow.
Next event: Stanford Intercollegiate, Stanford GC, Palo Alto, Calif., Oct. 16-18

Thumbnail image for Purdue 2008-09 logo.gif3. Purdue (NR)
Hard to imagine the Boilermakers could be a better team with the best player in school history (Maria Hernandez) no longer on the roster. Still, the Boilermakers haven't missed a beat, winning a second straight tournament (Windy City Collegiate), with Maude-Aimee Leblanc taking medalist honors for a second straight time. Maybe you don't replace a Hernandez, but you do move on.
Next event: NCAA Fall Preview, CC of Landfall, Wilmington, N.C. Oct. 23-25

Thumbnail image for UCLA logo 2008-09.gif4. UCLA (4)
Should the Bruins feel slighted by the fact they're not in the top-25 in the Golfstat team ranking? Perhaps, but something tells me the oversight will be righted after the Stanford event. Don't sleep on the folks from Westwood.
Next event: Stanford Intercollegiate, Stanford GC, Palo Alto, Calif., Oct. 16-18

Thumbnail image for Pepperdine logo 2008-09 season.gif5. Pepperdine (3)
Win streak ends with a third at the Edean Ihlanfeldt, but two wins in the first two events still carries a lot of weight. The Wave will truly be tested when they tee it up at Landfall at the end of the month.
Next event: NCAA Fall Preview, CC of Landfall, Wilmington, N.C. Oct. 23-25


STAT OF THE WEEK
25-0
Head-to-head record of the Division II Rollins women's golf team versus Division I schools during the 2009-10 season. With a win at the Nittany Lion Women's Invitational, the Lady Tars have two victories in two starts, both comprised almost entirely of D-I programs.


WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Dustin Garza.jpg* During his junior season a year ago, Wichita State's Dustin Garza came from nowhere to have a most impressive fall, winning three times and finish second in two other tournaments. Not surprisingly, perhaps, he struggled to keep that hot streak going in the spring (although still earned third-team All-American honors). To the 21-year-old's credit, though, Garza (right) has won two tournaments in three starts this fall, taking the Wolfpack Classic for the seond straight year earlier this week. Many figured that last fall's performance was a fluke, but Garza has proven all those people wrong. He's playing with a lot of confidence, so don't be surprised if he gets another win before the winter break.

* It's been interesting to see the line-up that Florida's Buddy Alexander has been playing in his first few fall events. A sixth-place finish at Olympia Fields and a T-3 showing at the Gary Koch have been pretty good performances what with Andres Echavarria and Arnond Vongvanij suddenly anchoring a starting roster voiding of a huge presence in the departed Billy Horschel. Both were highly regarded junior golfers who have failed to be heard from up until now in the college ranks. OK, so the results of the Gators first two starts are only so-so, but playing these young players is going to help the team in the long-run as they'll have experience and will be much more ready for the competition come the post-season.

* Forget about any sort of sophmore slump out of Virginia's Ben Kohles. In his first three starts of his second year with the Cavaliers, Kohles has three top-10 finishes including a share of medalist honors at the Maryland tournament to start the fall. Says here that Kohles will continue the solid pay through the fall. It's just a gut feeling, but Kohles seems to be playing free and easy of late.


TOURNAMENT PREVIEWS
Men

The Brickyard Collegiate
   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
The Brickyard at Riverside, Macon, Ga. (Par 72, 7,128 yards)
Oct. 10-12
Host: Mercer
Field: Augusta State, Chattanooga, Charlotte, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Mercer, Michigan, Mississippi, North Florida, Penn State, VCU, Virginia Tech
Defending champion: Georgia (19-over 859) by five strokes over Georgia Tech; Georgia Tech's Cameron Tringale (one-over 211) by one stroke over Virginia Tech's Drew Weaver
Skinny: If Georgia is to sweep the first three playings of the event, the Bulldogs are going to have to step up after a T-10 and T-8 finish at the Carpet Capital and Olympia Fields tournaments to start the 2009-10 season.

D.A. Weibring Intercollegiate
Weibring GC at Illinois State, Normal, Ill. (Par 70, 6,681 yards)
Oct. 11-12
Host: Illinois State
Field: Bradley, Butler, Creighton, Detroit, Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Loyola (Ill.), Loyola (Md.), UMKC, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois, SIU Edwardsville, Western Illinois
Defending champion: Illinois (nine-under 831) by 18 strokes over Illinois State; Illinois' Scott Langley (nine-under 201) by three strokes over Illinois State's Kyle Bragg
Skinny: The facility was renamed after Weibring, an Illinois State alumnus, in 2007 recognizing his renovation work on the course that took place earlier in the decade.

The Prestige at PGA West
   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
PGA West Stadium Course, La Quinta, Calif.
Oct. 11-13
Host: Stanford
Field: UCF, Hawaii, Long Beach State, Notre Dame, Pepperdine, San Diego, Stanford, TCU, UC Davis, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Washington
Defending champion: TCU (three-under 861) by 10 strokes over UC Davis; TCU's Johan de Beer and UC Davis' Nate Pistacchio (six-under 210)
Skinny: From the better late than never department: the UCLA men make this event their fall debut.

The Firestone Invitational
   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Firestone GC (North), Akron, Ohio
Oct. 12-13
Host: Akron
Field: Eastern Michigan, Kansas State, Kentucky, Marquette, Maryland, Michigan State, Pacific, Rhode Island, St. Mary's, Toledo, Western Carolina
Defending champion: New event
Skinny: The tournament is the first Akron has hosted under coach Nick Goetze and the first for the school since the spring of 2007.

Alister MacKenzie Invitational
Meadow Club, Fairfax, Calif. (Par 71, 6,686 yards)
Oct. 12-13
Host: California
Field: California, Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Oregon State, San Diego State, San Francisco, San Jose State, UC Irvine, Washington State, Wisconsin
Defending champion: Not held in 2008
Skinny: Event resumes after one-year hiatus. Just once in its six-year history has a school outside of California claimed the team title (Oregon State, 2004).

Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate
Old Overton GC, Birmingham, Ala. (Par 71, 6,936 yards)
Oct. 12-13
Host: Alabama
Field: UAB, Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, East Tennessee, Georgia State, Louisville, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, SMU, Texas UNLV
Defending champion: Alabama (10-udner 830) by six strokes over Auburn; SMU's Kelly Kraft (six-under 204) by one stroke over UNLV's Eddie Olson and Auburn's Glenn Northcutt
Skinny: The Crimson Tide are trying to equal Clemson's mark of four straight JPNI titles (1997-2000). Past individual winners of the event include David Toms (LSU, 1988), Tiger Woods (Stanford, 1994), Rory Sabbatini (Arizona, 1997), D.J. Trahan (Clemson, 2001) and Hunter Mahan (Oklahoma State, 2001)

WOMEN
Lady Tar Heel Invitational
   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
UNC Finley GC, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Oct. 9-11
Host: North Carolina
Field: Alabama, Auburn, Denver, Duke, East Carolina, Florida State, Kent State, Louisville, Michigan State, North Carolina, N.C. State, UNC Wilmington, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wake Forest
Defending champion: Wake Forest (12-over 876) by 12 strokes over North Carolina; UNC's Catherine O'Donnell, Wake's Natalie Sheary and Wake's Jean Chua (even-par 216)
Skinny: The Tar Heels have been almost too gracious hosts in the 33-year history of the event. UNC has won the title only five times, the last coming in 1992.
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