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Alabama, OU golfers get top honors for week

Justin Thomas2.jpegGOLF WORLD COLLEGE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Feb. 20-26


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Justin Thomas
, Alabama
A closing 68 at the Puerto Rico Classic which included six birdies over the final 11 holes, helped the freshman from Goshen, Ky., secure his second victory in just five college starts. His 10-under 206 total was one shot better than Oklahoma State's Talor Gooch and two clear of defending Puerto Rico champion James White of Georgia Tech.

"By the 14th hole you could see it in Justin's eyes that he knew he was close," Alabama coach Jay Seawell said. "Justin is a winner and to make the birdie that he did coming in on the difficult 17th hole shows that. He has proven to all of colleg golf that he is not just one of the best freshman, but one of the best players in the country."

Thomas' performance also helped the Crimson Tide cruise to the team title, the squad outpacing second-place Clemson by 18 strokes with a 30-under 834 showing.

Honorable mentions:
Zachery Fullerton
, New Mexico State
Won his second straight title at the Rice Intercollegiate, beating Northwestern's Eric Chun on a third playoff hole after shooting a six-under 210.

Kevin Penner, UNLV
Defended his individual crown at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate, shooting seven-under 209 and helping the Rebels win a fourth team title in 2011-12.


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Chirapat Jao-Javanil.jpegChirapat Jao-Javanil, Oklahoma
The sophomore from Thailand tied her career-best with a 68 in the first round of the Central District Invitational, then held on to claim the individual title at River Wilderness GC in Parrish, Fla., with closing rounds of 70-74, beating LSU's Tessa Teachman by two strokes. It was the second victory for Jao-Javanil this season, her first coming at the Golfweek Invitational in September.

"Ja played solid this week," said OU coach Veronique Drouin. "She was pretty disappointed after her play last week [a T-55 at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, her worst career showing for the Sooners]. She definitely came back strong, and I'm proud of her. She beat some great players and hopefully this will give her confidence for the rest of the semester."

In 15 career starts at Oklahoma, Jao-Javanil has eight top-10 finishes and 12 top-15s.

Honorable mentions:
Isabelle Boineau, Arizona and Manon Gidali, Arizona
The duo from France shared medalist honors at the UNLV Spring Invitational with matching two-over 218s at Cascata GC in Boulder City, Nev. The Wildcat won the team title by 19.