News & ToursSeptember 21, 2009

Arizona State men make early statement

Three quick observations from this past weekend:

1."I think this could be the best team I've had."

That was what Arizona State men's coach Randy Lein told me Aug. 18 when I interviewed him for Golf World's college preview issue. Sure enough, he looks to have had reason to think that way, as ASU (30-over 870) opened the fall schedule with a two-stroke victory over top-ranked Oklahoma State at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational Sunday. Three Sun Devils finished in the top 20, led by Tristan Bierenbroodspot's T-6 showing.

"There are just a lot of similarities to 12 years ago when we won nationals at the Honors Course," Lein said last month. "The year before, we had like four All-Americans and really no standout stud. just a number of players who played well. We had one senior who played when we won, two juniors a sophomore and a freshman. That could be a similar make up this year."

__2.__The Pepperdine women might only have five players on their current roster, but the five are pretty good. Five days after winning the Golfweek Conference Challenge, the Waves knocked off host New Mexico by seven strokes to claim the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque.

3. For a third year in a row, UNLV men's coach Dwaine Knight is going to have to sweat out having arguably his best player flirting with the PGA Tour. Eddie Olson advanced out of the tour's pre-qualifier this past week in California and will play in the first stage of Q school in October. The senior missed the Rebels start this past weekend's Gene Miranda Invitational, where UNLV finished third behind Colorado State and Utah.

Two years ago Knight had to watch as Seung-Su Han advanced to the final stage of PGA Tour Q-school, only to fail to get a PGA Tour card and decide to stay in college. Last fall, Han was in the same situation, but decided to jump ship.

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