Campus buzz, Feb. 21
A couple weeks worth of stories worth a look in case you missed them:
Two higher profile tournaments concluded yesterday, with the Alabama men winning the John Hayt Collegiate Invitational at Sawgrass CC in Florida, their fourth victory of the 2006-07 season (the counter punch many were looking for after wins from Florida and Stanford to start their spring schedules); and the Texas A&M women grabbing their first win of the year with a 13-shot victory at the Central District Invitational in Florida. The Aggies one-under 874 broke a school record for best 54-hole score. Individually, UCLA junior Kevin Chappell was medalist in the men's event and Texas A&M senior Ashley Knoll won by six shots in the women's tournament, her third victory of the season.
A lot of programs look for creative ways to workout during the offseason. A few weeks ago in Golf World I profiled the Columbus State men's team and its coach, Mark Immelman, who has his team play indoor soccer to help build chemistry and get the players back in shape. This piece from the Waco Tribune talks about how the Baylor women's golf team started shooting hoops ... with the nationally ranked Bears' women's basketball team.
A couple of items out of Raleigh, N.C., and the N.C. State golf program. A $3 million donation from 1959 alumnus Lonnie C. Poole and his wife,Carol Lynn Poole, will help the school start construction this summer on its new Arnold Palmer-designed course on its Centennial Campus. The goal is to have the Lonnie Poole Golf Course open by 2009.
Additionally, the Courtyard by Marriott Intercollegiate event that the Wolfpack men's team helps host in April is moving from MacGregor Downs to Devils Ridge GC for a year due to work being done on the former course.
One of the golf writers I have a lot of respect for is Stan Awtrey of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and he recently wrote an interesting piece about all the talented professional golfers that seem to be coming out of the UNLV men's golf program.
For your Q&A pleasure, here is a sitdown at the Michigan State website with senior Mandi McConnell, the reigning Michigan amateur player of the year.
Some news on the Golf World college coverage front as well. Today we reveal the first men's college coaches poll for the spring, but it comes new and improved. Golf World has partnered with the Golf Coaches' Association of America, merging our two coaches' polls into one co-branded product (a similar partnership has been reached with the National Golf Coaches Association on the women's side). With the help of Nike Golf, a new sponsor of the men's polls, we will now have rankings for not only Division I, but also Division II, III and NAIA schools. You can visit the new Golf World/Nike Golf men's coaches' polls at www.golfworld.com/menspoll. When you do, you will also see there's a new No. 1 team in the country.
I'm also going to throw out this story that appeared in the March issue of Golf World's sister publication, Golf Digest. It's a column for Hank Haney that takes a critical look at college golf as a training ground for the pro tours. I promise more on this in the next few days as I've already gotten a lot of opinions on it (mostly disagreeing with Haney's premise).