2008 Conference call, April 18
OK ... here's a preview of this weekend's conference championships plus an overall look at the championship season below (click on icon to enlarge).
Old North State Club
New London, N.C.
Field (record): Boston College (47-65), Clemson (88-39), Duke (75-37), Florida State (93-33), Georgia Tech (83-36), Maryland (66-64), North Carolina (76-46), N.C. State (57-60), Virginia (47-50), Virginia Tech (92-34), Wake Forest (82-44)
Defending champion: Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech (tie at 10-under 854); Jonas Blixt, Florida State (eight-under 208) by one stroke over Georgia Tech's Cameron Tringale
Skinny: Could this be Florida State's time to show it's a true top-10 program? I think so. Most of the other top programs in the conference (Georgia Tech, Clemson, Wake Forest, North Carolina) have been pretty erratic. Virginia Tech had a very good fall but has cooled off this spring. Duke is a sleeper, but I like the Seminoles chances, particular with Blixt having had success at the course. All the tough courses FSU has had to play will benefit them this week.
Colonial Athletic Association Championship
Golden Horseshoe GC (Gold Course, Par 71, 6,738 yards)
Field: Delaware (55-76), Drexel (52-58), George Mason (18-123), Georgia State (43-79), Hofstra (34-41), James Madison (63-63), Old Dominion (72-62), Towson (38-99), UNC Wilmington (50-85), VCU (63-53), William & Mary (47-70)
Defending champion: Old Dominion (19-over 859) by four strokes over Georgia State; John Murphy, Old Dominion (even-par 210)
Skinny: With the simple fact that Georgia State must win to get into the NCAA postseason because of the .500 rule and their 43-79 record, the Panthers will play inspired golf and take the conference title. A year ago GSU played to relaxed and they got upset. But this week, as coach Matt Clark told me, is all business.
__](http://secsports.com/index.php?s=&change_well_id=2&url_article_id=10901) (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Frederica GC (Par 72, 7,331 yards)
St. Simons Island, Ga.
Field: Alabama (107-13), Arkansas (79-31), Auburn (90-36), Florida (92-40), Georgia (100-21), Kentucky (83-65), LSU (83-52), Mississippi (109-31), Mississippi State (88-46), South Carolina (104-41), Tennessee (102-33), Vanderbilt (68-68)
Defending champion: Tennessee (29-over 869) by two strokes over Alabama; Patton Kizzire, Auburn (one-over 211)
Skinny: The deepest conference in the country also proves to be the toughest one to make a call as to who will come out on top. Serious, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee all have the talent to win, with South Carolina, Auburn and Mississippi also able to take the title if everything fall perfectly into place. My pick is the Crimson Tide ... the memory of the two-shot loss last year will help inspire them, plus I just think they've got the best squad, 1 to 5.
Ivy League Championship
Field: Brown (17-73), Columbia (40-49), Cornell (73-16), Dartmouth (56-33), Harvard (54-34), Penn (47-24), Princeton (41-49), Yale (51-48)
Defending champion: Penn (52-over 904) by 10 strokes over Brown; Chris Condello, Columbia (seven-over 220) by one stroke over Brown's Larry Haertel and Penn's Chance Pipitone
Skinny: There's no clear-cut favorite, with Penn, Yale and Columbia looking like they'll be fighting it out for the top prize. I'm going with the Bulldogs, but won't be better my second home at Bandon Dunes on it.
Mountain West Conference Championship[
](http://themwc.cstv.com/champ/08-wgolf-champ.html) (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
University of New Mexico GC (Championship Course, Par 73, 6,167 yards)
Field: BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, TCU, UNLV, Wyoming
Defending champion: TCU (51-over 903) by one stroke over BYU; Jodi Ewart, New Mexico (seven-over 220) by one stroke over TCU's Valentine Derrey
Skinny: The Lobos are playing at home and have had the most impressive win of any conference school when they claimed the Betsy Rawls Collegiate title last month. It's too much to ask TCU and BYU to overtake New Mexico in Albuquerque. (Plus, they already have a nine-stroke edge after Day 1.)
LPGA International (Legends Course, Par 72, 6,315 yards)
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Field: Boston College, Duke, Florida State, Maryland, Miami (Fla.), North Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia, Wake Forest
Defending champion: Duke (nine-over 873) by 35 strokes over Wake Forest; Amanda Blumenherst, Duke (four-under 212) by three strokes over Florida State's Caroline Westrup
Skinny: Not much to say other than Duke wins, again. This was, after all, where they won their third-straight NCAA title last May. The only questions are by how many (guess: 21 strokes) and whether Blumenherst wins her third individual title (yes on that, too).
Golden Horseshoe GC (Green Course)
Field: Dayton, Georgia State, Hofstra, James Madison, Old Dominion, Richmond, Towson, UNC Wilmington, William & Mary, Xavier
Defending champion: UNC Wilmington (46-over 910) by 17 strokes over Georgia State; Ashley Tait, UNC Wilmington, (six-over 222) by four strokes over UNC Wilmington's Carmen Perez-Narbon and Georgia State's Joanna Klatten
Skinny: Georgia State is coming on strong with a win at their home event March 30 and a second-place finish at the Canes & Cardinal Classic last week. They'll be challenged by UNC Wilmington, but the Panthers will prevail.
Tennessee National (Par 72, 6,310 yards)
__Field:__Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Defending champion: Georgia (one-over 865) by 16 over Florida; Taylor Leon, Georgia (eight-under 208) by four over Georgia's Garrett Phillips and Tennessee's Marci Turner
Skinny: I'm a believer in the Gators, with Jill Briles-Hinton as my national coach of the year. They haven't won a SEC title since 1995, but that streak ends this weekend.
[__Ivy League Championship
__](http://www.ivyleaguesports.com/sports/champ-event.asp?intSID=14) (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Atlantic City CC
Field: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Yale
Defending champion: Columbia (69-over 933) by 10 strokes over Princeton; Sara Ovadia, Columbia (10-over 226) by four strokes over Columbia's Stevy Loy
Skinny: Princeton traditionally has been the head of the class in the Ivys, and I think they return to the top of the league this weekend in their home state. Just not enough fire power at Columbia, first-time conference champions a year ago, for the repeat.