Campus review, March 8
__THE FAB FIVE
My look at the top five teams in the country right now
__GOLF WORLD COLLEGE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Mike Van Sickle__, Marquette
Caroline Westrup__, Florida State
__STAT OF THE WEEK
Difference between Duke sophomore Amanda Blumenherst’s winning score at the UCF Invitational (11-under 205) and the average 54-hole score for the entire 73-player field.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
• It’s been nearly five years since the Florida Southern women won their last Division II NCAA title. Yet the Lady Mocs look like they’re ready to knock off four-time defending champion Rollins this season, having won their home tournament, the Lady Moc Classic, last week. It marked the fifth time in six starts the team had finish in at least a share for first place. Only one other Division II squad—Lynn University at the Nova Southeastern Invitational last October—has beaten the Mocs, and that came in a playoff. Key to Florida Southern’s success has been Kim Ulander, a freshman from Sweden who has one win and six top-10s, and Heather Burgner, a sophomore from Lakeland, Fla., with four top-10 finishes in 2006-07.
• Looking for a dark-horse candidate for first-team All-American honors? Consider San Diego State’s Aaron Goldberg. The 21-year-old junior has won just once, but he has five top-five finishes in seven starts after a T-4 at this week’s Callaway Golf Invitational in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. In the process of posting scores of 72-69-71 for a four-under 212, Goldberg has now broken par in 15 of 21 rounds on the season.
__TOURNAMENTS TO WATCH
Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship__
Southern Highland GC, Las Vegas (par 72, 7,510 yards)
Field: Arizona, Arizona State, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, UNLV, Wake Forest, Washington
Defending champion: UNLV (15-over 879); Matt Kinsinger, UNLV, (two-under 214)
Skinny: The Las Vegas Founders have another primo field for the 32nd edition of the tournament, with six of the participating schools ranked Golf World/Nike Golf’s coaches’ poll top-10 (and 14 of the 15 ranked in the top-25). Many individual winners have gone on to win on the PGA Tour, including Jay Don Blake (Utah State, 1978), Billy Mayfair (Arizona State, 1987), Phil Mickelson (Arizona State, 1991), Stewart Cink and David Duval (Georgia Tech, 1992), David Gossett (Texas, 1999), D.J. Trahan (Clemson, 2000) and Troy Matteson (Georgia Tech, 2002).
General Jim Hackler Invitational__
TPC Myrtle Beach, Murrells, S.C. (Par 72, 6,950 yards)
Host: Coastal Carolina
Field: Augusta State, Baylor, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, East Tennessee State, Duke, Georgia Southern, Kent State, Lamar, New Mexico, UNC-Wilmington, North Florida, Oklahoma, Pepperdine, Purdue, Southern California, Tulsa
Mission Inn Collegiate Invitational
El Campeon GC, Howie-in-the-Hills, Fla. (72, 6,923 yards)
Field: Akron, Charleston Southern, Eastern Michigan, George Mason, Iowa, Iowa state, Liberty, Louisville, Marquette, Marshall, Missouri, UNC-Greensboro, Ohio, Old Dominion, Rhode Island, Wichita State, Xavier
USF Triumph at Pauma Valley__
Pauma Valley CC, San Diego
Host: San Francisco
Field: Air Force, Cal Poly, CSU-Monterey Bay, Campbell, Hartford, Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount, Notre Dame, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, St. Mary’s (Calif.), UC-Santa Barbara, Weber State, Wisconsin
Fresno State Lexus Golf Classic
Sunnyside CC, Fresno, Calif.
Host: Fresno State
Field: Boise State, CSU Bakersfield, CSU Northridge, UC Irvine, Fresno State, Hawaii, Kansas State, Nevada, New Mexico State, Oregon, Pacific, San Diego State, San Jose State, UTEP, Wyoming
Cleveland Golf Palmetto Invitational
Palmetto GC, Aiken, S.C.
Field: Belmont Abbey, College of Charleston, Davidson, East Carolina, Elon, Francis Marion, Furman, Maryland, Nebraska, Penn State, Presbyterian, St. John’s, USC Aiken, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech
Texas A&M “Mo”Morial__
The Traditions Club, Bryan, Texas (Par 72, 6,255 yards)
Field: Arizona State, Denver, Iowa State, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Princeton, Redlands CC, South Carolina, Southern California, Tulsa, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, UTEP
Defending champion: Texas A&M (59-over 923, defeated Arkansas in playoff); Ashley Knoll, Texas A&M (two-over 218)
Skinny: Before defeating Arkansas in a sudden-death playoff last year, it had been eight years since the Aggies had won their home event. This season, the 14-year-old event—named after former A&M standout Monica Welsh, who died in a car accident in 1992—has arguably its best field ever, with seven of the 16 teams in ranked in the top 25 of the most recent Golf World/NGCA coaches’ poll. Meanwhile, Texas A&M senior Ashley Knoll has a chance to become the third player to win the individual title twice, and the first to claim the honor in back-to-back seasons.
Rio Verde Invitational__
Quail Run at Rio Verde CC, Rio Verde, Ariz.
Host: Western Michigan
Field: Arkansas-Little Rock, Ball State, Baylor, Bowling Green State, Bradley, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Illinois State, Minnesota, Missouri State, Ohio, Southern Illinois, Texas Tech, Toledo, Western Michigan, Wisconsin, Xavier
Lady Gator Invitational
University of Florida GC, Gainesville, Fla.
Field: Central Florida, Florida, Florida International, Florida State, Georgia State, Kent State, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, North Carolina, UNC-Greensboro, South Florida, TCU, Tennessee
Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational__
Tuscawilla CC, West Springs, Fla.
Host: Rollins College
Field: Barry, CSU-San Marcos, Daytona Beach CC, Florida Southern, Kentucky, Lynn, Marshall, Methodist, Nebraska-Omaha, Northern Illinois, Nova Southeastern, Rollins, Saint Leo
UNLV Spring Invitational
Boulder Creek GC, Boulder City, Nev. (Par 72, 6,153 yards)
Field: Boise State, BYU, Campbell, Eastern Washington, Fresno State, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Long Beach State, Nebraska, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Notre Dame, San Diego State, San Francisco, Texas Tech, Washington State, UNLV