The Loop

Conference call, April 16

April 16, 2007

Surprise, surprise ... the Duke women won the ACC Championship yesterday by 35 shots over Wake Forest. En route to the team's 12th straight conference title, sophomore Amanda Blumenherst claimed her second straight ACC individual title, shooting a final-round 74 at Carmel CC in Charlotte, N.C., on a day where the weather conditions left no player breaking par. Blumenherst's four-under 212 overall was three shots better than Florida State's Caroline Westrup, who struggled with a final-round 79. Over the final seven holes at Carmel, Blumenherst was two over with two bogeys while Westrup was six over with four bogeys and one double bogey. The 20-year-old from Scottsdale now has seven career wins, tying her for second on the Duke all-time list with Liz Janangelo and Jenny Chuasiriporn. (First is Mary Anne Widman with 12.)

“Duke women’s golf definitely has a tradition of winning and just playing good golf, especially during the ACC," Blumenherst said Sunday. "To be able to continue that is something to be proud of.”

Here is a preview of the women's and men's championships through Thursday:


Field: __Bradley, Creighton, Drake, Evansville, Illinois State, Indiana State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, Wichita State

2006 champions: Bradley, by nine shots over Southern Illinois; Meaghan LeBlanc,Bradley;Missy Linnens, Missouri State*; Samantha Richdale, Illinois State

__Skinny:__Bradley looks to defend its title as the host of this year's championship, but Southern Illinois is the favorite according to a vote of conference coaches prior to the tournament.

For live scoring, link here to Golfstat


Field: Appalachian State, College of Charleston, The Citadel, Elon, Furman, UNC-Greensboro, Western Carolina, Wofford

2006 champions: College of Charleston, by two shots over Western Carolina; Angie Hill__, College of Charleston__

Skinny: __College of Charleston claimed its first conference title last year and is one of just three schools (Furman, Western Carolina) to win the tournament since it was first held in 1994.


Field: __Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Alcorn State, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Grambling State, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State, Prairie View A&M, Southern, Texas Southern


2006 champions: Jackson State, by 33 strokes over Alcorn State; Shasta Averyhardt,__Jackson State*

Skinny:Averyhardt, a junior from Grand Blanc, Mich., fired two straight 69s to claim individual medalist honors a year ago by 16 shots; suffice it to say she's a favorite to repeat this year__

Field: Gonzaga, Pepperdine, Portland, San Francisco, Santa Clara

2006 champions: Pepperdine, by 25 strokes over San Francisco; Jayvie Agojo, __Pepperdine*

__Skinny:__The Waves appear to be a lock to win their sixth straight team title and ninth in the last 10 years. The question here, really is which of their starters (watch for Agojo, Eileen Vargas and Misun Cho  in particular) will take individual honors.

For live scoring, click here to Golfstat


Field: __Eastern Washington, Idaho State, Montana, Montana State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Sacramento State, Weber State.

2006 champions: Montana, by eight strokes over Northern Arizona; Jasi Acharya, Montana

Skinny:The "hot squad" entering the championship appears to be Northern Arizona, having recently won the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic by 35 shots and have a scoring average five strokes better than any other conference foe. A year ago Montana won its first title with coach Joanne Steele at the time searching for a new heart to undergo a heart transplant. She received one last September and has been coaching this spring.


Field:__ Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech


2006 champions: Texas A&M, by 10 strokes over Oklahoma State; Ashley Knoll__, Texas A&M*

__Skinny:__Oklahoma State is the favorite, but the defending champion Aggies have a team that can repeat if they get hot. Knoll's impressive performance a year ago, where she won by six shots, is likely to be repeated again this week.

For live scoring, click here to Golfstat



Field: __Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Murray State, Samford, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech

__2006 champions: Jacksonville State, by five strokes over Eastern Kentucky; Shanelle Howell, __Jacksonville State

__Skinny:__Jacksonville State looks for a three-peat, with six of the OVC's top 10 golfers by scoring average on its roster. If the Gamecocks can do it they will be the third conference school to win three straight titles, equaling Murray State's runs in 1997-99 and 2002-04.

For live scoring, click here to Golfstat


Field: __Arkansas-Little Rock, Arkansas State, Denver, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Middle Tennessee State, New Orleans, North Texas, South Alabama, Troy, Western Kentucky

__2006 champions: __Denver, by three strokes over North Texas; Taryn Durham, Middle Tennessee State*

__Skinny:__After winning all four of their starts in the fall, Denver has cooled this spring, but the Pioneers are still the favorites to win a fourth straight conference title. Seven of the 11 squads in the field, however, have won tournaments in 2006-07.


Field: __Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Alcorn State, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Grambling State, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State, Prairie View A&M, Southern, Texas Southern

2006 champions: Jackson State, by 35 strokes over Southern; Kortland Ware, Jackson State

__Skinny:__Jackson State goes for its 20th (that's not a typo) straight conference title. Are you going to pick against them?


Field: __Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Portland, St. Mary's (Calif.), San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara

__2006 champions: __Loyola Marymount, by five strokes over San Francisco; Brian Locke, Loyola Marymount*

__Skinny:__Loyola Marymount claimed its first conference title a year ago, but should have its hands full with Pepperdine, who is looking to win its 12th title in 14 years.

For live scoring, click here to Golfstat


Field: __Lamar, Louisiana-Monroe, McNeese State, Nicholls State, Sam Houston State, Southeastern Louisiana, Stephen F. Austin State, Texas-Arlington, Texas-San Antonio, Texas State

__2006 champions: __Lamar, by nine strokes over Texas-San Antonio; John Elizondo, UT-San Antonio

__Skinny:__Despite having its head coach leave for Arkansas during the off-season, Lamar has continued to be among the best squads in all of college golf, winning five titles in 2006-07 with Brian White now in charge. The Cardinals will look to make it two conference crowns in a row, five in the last seven years and 21 overall.

For live scoring, click here to Golfstat


Sun Belt


Field: __Arkansas-Little Rock, Arkansas State, Denver, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee State, New Orleans, North Texas, South Alabama, Troy, Western Kentucky

__2006 champions: __Western Kentucky, in playoff over South Alabama and North Texas; Brent Long, Western Kentucky*

__Skinny:__It will be hard to repeat the drama from a year ago, when Western Kentucky claimed its first SBC title and first conference title of any kind since 1969. The win was dedicated to Hilltopper Jared Salvia, who was diagnosed with cancer during Christmas 2005. The top individual player in the conference this season is Denver sophomore Jeff Koprivetz with a 71.65 scoring average.


Field: __Birmingham Southern, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, High Point, Liberty, Radford, Winthrop

__2006 champions: __Coastal Carolina, by nine strokes over Charleston Southern; Shawn Hall, Charleston Southern

Skinny: Coastal Carolina continues to show strong play from "mid-majors" isn't exclusive to men's basketball. Look for the Chanticleers, the No. 1 seed entering the tournament, to grab their third straight conference title.


Field: __Belmont, Campbell, East Tennessee State, Gardner-Webb, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Mercer, North Florida, Stetson

__2006 champions: Jacksonville, by five strokes over North Florida; Duncan Stewart, __Jacksonville

__Skinny:__Stewart is looking to make history and win a third straight A-Sun title. His biggest competition will be from ETSU senior Rhys Davies, who has won three times this season and also makes the Bucs the favorite to claim the team title. One thing you can count on ... Jacksonville's stunning 31-under 845 tournament-record score from a year ago won't be repeated at Sanctuary Cove

For live scoring, click here to Golfstat