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This Week's Syllabus: March 24-30

My look at the top five teams in the country right now

Thumbnail image for Oklahoma-state-logo-latest.jpg1. Oklahoma State (Last week: 1)
The Cowboys pick up their fifth win of the season at the Duck Invitational and their second without Peter Uihlein in the lineup. Latest OSU "secret" weapon: Sean Einhaus, who has carded two top-10 finishes in two starts since playing in his first event of the season earlier this month. Mike McGraw's crew is starting to get some separation from rest of the NCAA title contenders
Next event: Administaff Augusta State Invitational, Forest Hills GC, Augusta, Ga. April 2-3

Thumbnail image for UCLA logo 2008-09.gif2. UCLA (3)
Patrick Cantlay surprisingly only goes 2-2 at the Callaway Match Play, despite being a semifinalist at the U.S. Amateur last August and having blistered fields in stroke-play events all spring. Similarly, the top-seeded Bruins had mixed reviews in Georgia, finishing seventh in the brackets. Still, all is good in Westwood.  
Next event: Administaff Augusta State Invitational, Forest Hills GC, Augusta, Ga., April 2-3

Thumbnail image for Alabama logo.gif3. Alabama (2)
No team seemed more the victim of the vagaries of match play at the Callaway event than the Crimson Tide, which finished in 12th place by week's end. The sobering reality is that lots of success in stroke play isn't enough if you want to claim the NCAA title.
Next event: Linger Longer Invitational, Reynolds Plantation (Great Waters), Greensboro, Ga., March 27-29

Auburn logo.gif4. Auburn (NR)
Lots of close calls—three runner-ups and a third in the last four events—finally yielded a victory for the Tigers over SEC rival Florida at the Schenkel Invite. You get the feeling this was the breakthrough Nick Clinard's squad had been eyeing for a while now.
Next event: Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate, Bulls Bay GC, Awendaw, S.C., March 27-29

Thumbnail image for Florida logo.gif5. Florida (4)
The Gators can get their rematch with Auburn at Bulls Bay this week after falling to the Tigers in a playoff at the Schenkel. Bank Vongvanij made sure people don't forget his candidacy for national player of the year with his third individual victory.
Next event: Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate, Bulls Bay GC, Awendaw, S.C., March 27-29


Thumbnail image for USC logo.gif1. USC (Last week: 1)
Played solidly in the final round at the Rancho Bernardo Inn event but Purdue's edge was too big to overcome. Still, the Trojans held off UCLA to finish second and maintained a streak of nine top-three finishes dating back to the NCAA Central Regional last spring.
Next event: Ping ASU Invitational, Karsten GC, Tempe, Ariz., April 1-3

Purdue logo.gif2. Purdue (NR)
There have probably been more bumps along the route than Devon Brouse thought his Boilermakers team would have encountered up to this point in the 2010-11 season, but he's got to like how his train engine is moving right about now. A nice win at Augusta State is followed up by a high-profile triumph at Rancho Bernardo. Three wins and six top-fives on the season for the defending NCAA champs is pretty solid as the postseason beckons.  
Next event: Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, University of Georgia GC, Athens, Ga., April 1-3

Thumbnail image for UCLA logo 2008-09.gif3. UCLA (3)
Third-place finish at Rancho Bernardo isn't too shabby, particularly considering the Bruins had four players record top-20 finishes. Stephanie Kono's T-8 was her fourth top-10 of the season, giving her the team lead.
Next event: Ping ASU Invitational, Karsten GC, Tempe, Ariz., April 1-3

Thumbnail image for Alabama logo.gif4. Alabama (2)
A little downtime before heading to Athens probably isn't the worst thing in the world for the Crimson Tide. They still have three players (Brooke Pancake, No. 11; Stephanie Meadow, No. 16; Camilla Lennarth, No. 21) ranked in the Golfstat Cup top 25.
Next event: Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, University of Georgia GC, Athens, Ga., April 1-3

Cal logo.gif5. California (4)
A third-straight triumph might have been a little much to ask from the Bears, but their 13th-place finish at the Rancho Bernardo was a let down considering the momentum they had built. As Nancy McDaniel said afterward, though, better to experience a lull like this in March than in May.
Next event: Ping ASU Invitational, Karsten GC, Tempe, Ariz., April 1-3


Head-to-head record for the TCU men's team this past week after playing in the Desert Shootout (finishing third out of 15 schools) and the NIT (finishing T-4 out of 15 schools). In the process the Horned Frogs elevated their overall record on the season from 34-50-3 to 56-55-4.

Is it just me, or does it feel wrong that the Kent State men have yet to face any school from the Mid-American Conference in their seven starts this season? (And won't see won in their next event, the Towson Invitational, either.)

Danielle Kang w:amateur trophy.jpeg* Despite having to WD with a neck injury after one round at the Rancho Bernardo Inn event earlier this week, Danielle Kang, the defending U.S. Women's Amateur champion and Pepperdine's standout sophomore, should be OK to compete in next week's Kraft Nabisco Championship and the rest of the Waves' spring season. Kang (right) shot a 81 in the first round before pulling out of the event, but it sounds like the decision to stop playing was primarily for precautionary reasons. Kang will miss next week's Ping ASU tournament because of the spot she earned at the LPGA's first major thanks to her Amateur victory last August.
(Photo courtesy of USGA/Steven Gibbons)

* With two tournaments left on their schedule before the postseason, the Duke women continue to play consistently well (they have finished second, third or fourth in five of their six starts this season) but have yet to win during the 2010-11 campaign. It will be interesting to see, then, how the Blue Devils fare at this week's Bryan National Collegiate and next week's Liz Murphey Collegiate given this particular fact: the last time the school went an entire season without winning a tournament was back in 1981-82, long before any player on this year's squad was even born. Dan Brooks was still two seasons away from taking over as the women's coach from Ron Schmid.

It's not likely on the minds of Lindy Duncan and Kim Donovan and the rest of the team, but they've got some history to live up to in the next few weeks. "I think it's going to come down to how hard we work," Duncan said regarding whether the first win was going to come soon. "It seems like we've been putting in some good hours and playing a lot of rounds in some tough conditions. I think it's a matter of time … just keep putting in the work and eventually it will happen, hopefully."   


Barona Collegiate Cup
    (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Barona Creek GC, Lakeside, Calif.
March 24-25
Host: San Diego State
Field: Arizona, Arkansas State, Colorado, Loyola Marymount, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego, San Diego State, Santa Clara, St. Mary's (Calif.), UTEP, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, Utah, Wyoming, Xavier
Defending champion: San Diego State (-8/1,072) by 22 strokes over UC-Irvine; UC-Irvine's John Chin (-12/204) by three strokes over San Diego State's Johan Carlsson
Skinny: While not the official host, San Diego will be playing close to home and is in need of a bounce-back tournament to rebuild a little confidence. This event might not have come at a better time for the Toreros. ... Tournament will employ the six-play/count-five format again this year. 

Border Olympics
    (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Laredo CC, Laredo, Texas
March 24-26
Host: Houston
Field: Air Force, Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, Indiana, Lamar, Liberty, Kansas, Kansas State, New Mexico State, North Texas, Oklahoma, Rice, Texas State, Toledo, UT Arlington, UT San Antonio, Washington State, Wichita State
Defending champion: Texas State (+12/876) by four strokes over Oklahoma; Baylor's Joakim Mikkelsen (-3/213) by two strokes over Auburn's Kyle Kopsick
Skinny: The host Cougars are closing out a busy month, having played three other events in March in three different time zones.

FAU Spring Break Championship
    (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Gleneagles CC, Del Ray Beach, Fla.
March 25-27
Host: Florida Atlantic
Field: Connecticut, DePaul, Eastern Michigan, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, Marquette, Marshall, Miami (Ohio), Michigan State, Minnesota, Murray State, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Ohio State, South Florida, Wisconsin
Defending champion: Illinois (-10/842) by 18 strokes over Iowa; Illinois' Chris DeForest (-8/205) by four strokes over Iowa's Barrett Kelpin, Eastern Michigan's Cam Burke, Notre Dame's Doug Fortner
Skinny: Not quite the elite field as a year ago, but still likely to be a competitive event as several northern schools make a last trip down south before conference post-season tournaments begin.

Linger Longer Invitational
    (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Reynolds Plantation (Great Waters course), Greensboro, Ga.
March 27-29
Host: Mercer/Kennesaw State
Field: Alabama, Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Charlotte, East Tennessee State, Florida State, Furman, Georgia, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Mercer, Memphis, Stanford
Defending champion: Oklahoma State (+1/865) by two strokes over Alabama; Alabama's Bud Cauley (-12/204) by six strokes over Oklahoma State's Kevin Tway
Skinny: Alabama is likely looking for payback from narrowing missing out on a win here a year ago (although it won't be able to get their revenge on Oklahoma State this time). Plus, the Crimson Tide probably aren't all that happy about their performance at the Callaway Match Play. Sounds like the ingredients for a strong performance. 

Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate
    (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Bulls Bay GC, Awendaw, S.C.
March 27-29
Host: Bulls Bay GC
Field: Auburn, Augusta State, Charleston, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, North Carolina, N.C. State, North Florida, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Virginia, Wake Forest
Defending champion: LSU (-7/845) by one stroke over Wake Forest; N.C. State's Matt Hill (-9/204) by two strokes over Wake Forest's Lee Beford
Skinny: Four out of the first six years of the tournament, the medalist has been a player from Augusta State (Scott Jamieson, 2005; Jamie Miller, 2006; Wallace Booth, 2007; Janne Kaske, 2009). With Henrik Norlander coming off a win at the General Jim Hackler, could he be the next Jaguar to triumph at Bulls Bay?

UALR/First Tee Collegiate Classic
Chenal CC, Little Rock, Ark.
March 28-29
Host: UALR
Field: UALR, Arkansas State, Central Arkansas, Illinois State, Iowa State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Missouri, Missouri State, Oral Roberts, Sam Houston State, Southeastern Louisiana, Southern Mississippi, UM-Kansas City, Western Kentucky
Defending champion: Southeastern Louisiana (+1/865) by eight strokes over Missouri; Missouri's Stuart Ballingall (-15/201) by 10 strokes over North Texas' Rodolfo Cazaubon
Skinny: Ballingall had the best tournament of his young college career a year ago when he lapped the field after tying the school's 18-hole scoring mark with a second-round 63. Can the good vibes from the place return?

Mountain View Collegiate
    (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Mountain View GC, Tucson
March 25-26
Host: Colorado
Field: Arkansas, Baylor, Colorado, Colorado State, Gonzaga, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon State, San Jose State, Texas State, Texas Tech, Wyoming
Defending champion: Colorado State (+26/890) in a scorecard playoff with Texas Tech; Texas Tech's Gabriella Dominguez and Missouri's Julia Potter (+3/219)
Skinny: Curious which Arkansas team is going to show up. The one from the first round of the LSU Golf Classic, which stumbled out of the gate, or from the second and third rounds, which rallied for an impressive victory.

Bryan National Collegiate
    (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Bryan Park GC (Champions Course), Brown Summit, N.C.
March 25-27
Host: UNC Greensboro/Wake Forest
Field: Charleston, Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Michigan State, North Carolina, N.C. State, Northwestern, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee, UNC Greensboro, UNC Wilmington, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wake Forest, Washington
Defending champion: Florida State (+9/873) by one stroke over Wake Forest; Wake Forest's Cheyenne Woods (-5/211) by two strokes over Tennessee's Nathalie Mansson
Skinny: Duke had won the team title here five straight times (2001-05) but has yet to win the event since 2005.

U. of Cincinnati Spring Invitational
Plantation Inn GC, Crystal River, Fla.
March 25-27
Host: Cincinnati
Field: Campbell, Cincinnati, Eckerd, Elon, Embry Riddle, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida Southern, Houston Baptist, Marshall, McNeese, Mercer, Morehead State, North Dakota State, North Texas, Oakland, Ohio, Rutgers, Seminole State, Seton Hall, St. Andrews, Stetson, UAB
Defending champion: Illinois (+29/893) by 12 strokes over Stetson; Stetson's Alex Buelow (E/216) by two strokes over Illinois' Hailey Koschmann
Skinny: Wide open event with interest mix of teams in the field.

Anteater Invitational
    (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Dove Canyon CC, Dove Canyon, Calif.
March 27-29
Host: UC Irvine
Defending champion: San Diego State (+47/899) by six strokes over San Francisco; Idaho's Kayla Morellaro (+1/ 214) by three strokes over UC-Irvine's Hillary Packard