Couple things I'm curious about as play begins today in North Carolina, Indiana and California:
1.) Which Auburn team is going to show up?
Since taking the lead into the final round of the Liz Murphey Collegiate in March, only to finish in fourth place, the Tigers have come in 12th at the Bryan National Collegiate and fourth at the SEC Championship. For a squad that was looking like a national championship contender (two wins, six top-three finishes in the first seven starts), it's not the way to come into the NCAA postseason.
2.) Can Arizona State and USC put behind them their odd outcomes at the Pac-10 Championship?
My guess is yes. The Sun Devils fluke virus that knocked out two players and forced them to withdraw as a team at Pac-10s was just that: a fluke. Similarly, Belen Mozo's misunderstanding in the second round about playing lift, clean and place, which caused the USC senior to be DQ'd, is something coach__Andrea Gaston__ told me the other that that Mozo's already gotten over.
3.) Could traveling cross country to compete in the West Regional and playing the Stanford GC in a tournament for the first time cause Alabama and Virginia to stumble?
It's an intriguing question, because I do think the Crimson Tide and the Cavaliers both won't fare as well as if they were playing the East or Central Regionals. I think the fact that Mic Potter's Alabama team made a long flight to compete in the Ping ASU Invitational last month, giving them the experience of traveling that far and playing a unfamilar course, will help them this week. It's Virginia, however, that I'm a little more unsure about.
__4.) How will North Dakota State's Amy Anderson fare playing as an individual in the West Regional? __
The reigning U.S. Girls' Junior champion has had four wins, eight top-five finishes and nine top-10s in nine starts during her freshman year, posting a 73.87 average. The latter number, however, suggests that the competition she's face hasn't been of the highest caliber in order to have so many high finishes. Playing against some of the best in college golf will be an interesting proposition.