News & ToursMarch 29, 2007

Campus review, March 29

__THE FAB FIVE

My look at the top five teams in the country right now

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__WOMEN

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GOLF WORLD PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

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John Streibich__, Xavier

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Leah Wigger__, Virginia

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STAT OF THE WEEK

67.8__

Final-round stroke average for Florida State sophomore Caroline Westrup. When the native of Sweden shot a even-par 71 in the final round of last weekend’s Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, it marked the first time in six events that she failed to break 70 over the last 18.

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WHAT TO WATCH FOR__

• It wasn’t much publicized but Georgia Tech and Georgia State used one of their days of competition last weekend to play a friendly match against each other. What was interesting/revealing, was the venue: Golden Horseshoe GC in Williamsburg, Va. For the uninitiated, that’s the site of this year’s NCAA Championship. Coincidence? I think not. The Yellow Jackets used the “event” to culminate a three-day spring break trip there. The greens had been aerated, but still yielded a 68 for Tech’s Roberto Castro and 69 for Kevin Larsen as the Tech defeated State by seven shots. Give coaches Bruce Heppler and Matt Clark credit for taking advantage of an opportunity on their schedules to get in a little homework for NCAAs.

• It was fun to get to see Arkansas women’s assistant coach Shauna Estes leading the Lady Razorbacks to a third-place finish at last weekend’s Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic. For starters, she is a former All-American with the Bulldogs and had been medalist in the event back in her playing days, giving her plenty of incentive/motivation to do well in her return trip to Athens. More interestingly, you saw someone very comfortable being in charge. This was the fourth tournament Estes has been the acting head coach this spring with head coach Kelley Hester on maternity leave (she had a baby girl two weeks ago, mom and daughter are doing well), and it was the best finish yet. She has a natural rapport with the players and is as competitive as ever. She’ll continue to lead the team at next week’s Susie Maxwell Berning event and probably the SEC Championship later in April (although Hester is expected to make an appearance at SECs). If I’m a school searching for a person to oversee my program in the next few years, one of the first calls I make is to Estes.

• As you may/may not have read, I tried a new strategy for picking my NCAA men’s hoops bracket last week by using the records of the schools’ golf teams as the criteria for who advanced and who went home. For the record, I did get two final four squads (Florida and UCLA), although my champion, Southern California, got knocked off early.

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TOURNAMENTS TO WATCH

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Administaf Augusta State Invitational__

(For live scoring, link here to Golfstat)

March 30-April 1

Champions Retreat GC, Evans, Ga.

Field: Auburn, Augusta State, Clemson, Coastal Carolina, East Tennessee State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Houston, Minnesota, North Carolina, N.C. State, North Florida, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Tennessee, USC-Aiken, Virginia, Virginia Tech

Defending champion: Coastal Carolina (10-under 854); Scott Brown, USC-Aiken, (nine-under 207)

Skinny: The tournament, started by the Augusta Golf Association in 1979, will be played for a second year at Champions Retreat. The event’s timing—held the weekend prior to the Masters—allows teams to stick around and watch the Monday practice day at Augusta National. Two players in the 2007 Masters field have won the ASU event: Phil Mickelson (Arizona State, 1989) and Tim Herron (New Mexico, 1993). One coach of a team in the event has also earned medalist honors twice: John Inman, North Carolina 1982 and 1983. Inman is the only repeat winner of the tournament.

Diet Pepsi Shocker Classic

April 2-3

Wichita CC, Wichita, Kan.

Host: Wichita State

National Invitational Tournament

April 2-3

Omni Tucson National Resort, Tucson, Ariz.

Host: Arizona

Hal Sutton Intercollegiate

April 2-3

GC at Stonebridge, Bossier City, La.

Host: Centenary

Ogio Pacific Coast Invitational

April 2-3

The Alisal River Cse., Santa Barbara, Calif.

Host: UC-Santa Barbara

__WOMEN

Ping/ASU Invitational__

(For live scoring, link here to Golfstat)

March 30-April 1

ASU Karsten Course, Tempe, Ariz. (Par 72, 6,230 yards)

Field: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Long Beach State, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon State, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, Stanford, Texas A&M, Tulsa, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Vanderbilt, Washington

Defending champion: UCLA (one-over 865); Adriana Zwanck. Arizona (six-under 210)

Skinny: The event, first started in 1965, has a standout field with 10 of the top 25 teams in the most recent Golf World/NGCA coaches’ poll, including six of the top 10.

Ryder Florida Women’s College Championship

March 30-April 1

Don Shula’s Golf Resort, Miami Lakes, Fla.

Host: Miami (Fla.)

John Kirk/Lady Panther Intercollegiate

April 2-3

Eagles Landing CC, Stockbridge, Ga.

Host: Georgia State

Field: Augusta State, Arkansas State, Birmingham Southern, Campbell, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, East Tennessee State, Elon, Georgia State, Jacksonville State, Louisville, Maryland, Memphis, Mercer, Mississippi, Richmond, Western Carolina.

BYU Dixie Classic

April 3-4

Entrada at Snow Canyon, St. George, Utah

Host: BYU

Field: Arizona, BYU, California, Colorado State, Weber State

Anteater Invitational

March 26-27

Dove Canyon GC, Dove Canyon, Calif.

Host: UC-Irvine

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