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USC women end regular season where they began: No. 1 in Golf World/WGCA coaches' poll

By Ryan Herrington

For just the third time since Golf World resumed its women's college coaches' poll in 2001-02, the same school has been ranked No. 1 in every poll through an individual college season. USC joins the Duke in 2003-04 and UCLA in 2011-12 as the only programs to go wire-to-wire in a given year.

Before congratulating the Trojans on their accomplishment, however, it's worthwhile to note an interesting oddity: neither the Blue Devils or the Bruins actually went on to win the NCAA title that season. Duke was upset, coincidentally, by UCLA in 2004 at Grand National in Opelika, Ala., while UCLA was a distance eighth to Alabama at Vanderbilt Legends Club in 2012.

Nevertheless, USC looks to defend its national championship from a year ago and claim itsr fourth in school history when the team begins play as the top seed at the NCAA West Regional on Thursday.

poll-women-d1-0512-518.jpgA few tidbits of note from the Division I poll:

* Arkansas, South Carolina and Stanford, the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 squads in the latest poll, each set their school records for their best ever finish in a Golf World coaches' poll.

* Alabama fell from No. 8 to No. 12 in this latest poll, falling out of the top 10 for the first time since April 2008.

poll-women-d2-0512-275.jpgLynn is the unanimous choice for the No. 1 spot in the latest Division II poll. The Fighting Knights earned all 19 available first-place votes prior to finishing first at their NCAA Women's Super Regional on Tuesday and getting one step closer to repeating as national champions. The squad has claimed 10 team titles in 2013-14 and finished second in its two other appearances. The NCAA Women's D-II Championship is May 14-17 at Rock Barn Golf an Spa in Conover, N.C.

poll-women-d3-0512-275.jpgWashington U. of St. Louis retained its No. 1 ranking in the latest Division III coaches' poll. The Bears claimed five team titles during the 2013-14 season and earned 14 of the available 19 first-place votes as they attempt to win their first national title in school history. The NCAA Women's D-III Championship is May 13-16 at Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.

Methodist claimed the No. 2 spot in the latest poll, earning the remaining five first-place votes. The Monarchs are trying to start a new streak after having their string of 15 straight NCAA titles snapped last spring.