Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

The Loop

Conference Championship previews, Part IV

Next to last installment of the conference championship previews. Italic schools, once again, are programs that don't yet meet the ".500 rule" for postseason eligibility.


[__Conference USA Championship


](   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)

RedTail GC, Orlando

April 25-27

Field (Golfstat ranking): UAB (125), UCF (52), East Carolina (68), Houston (126), Marshall (229), Memphis (97), Rice (65), SMU (43), Southern Mississippi (92), Tulsa (59), UTEP (187)

Defending champion: UCF (-18/846) by six strokes over SMU; UCF's Simon Ward (-11/205) by one stroke over UCF's Blayne Barber

Skinny: SMU is the favorite, but I like a bit of a dark-horse here. I've just got a hunch at Rice might be ready to win its first C-USA golf title.


[__Horizon League Championship


](   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)

Kearney Hill GL, Lexington, Ky.

April 26-27

Field (Golfstat ranking): Butler (237), Cleveland State (234), Detroit Mercy (139), Loyola (Ill.) (193), Valparaiso (267), Wisconsin-Green Bay (148), Wright State (217), *Youngstown State *(231)

Defending champion: Cleveland State (+23/887) by five strokes over Detroit Mercy; Cleveland State's Jacob Scott (-4/212) by five strokes over Wright State's Charlie Doll

Skinny: Chances of a first-time conference champion seem reasonable with Wisconsin-Green Bay likely to be in contention. Detroit Mercy, meanwhile, hasn't won league title since 1007.


__   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)

Prairie Dunes GC, Hutchinson, Kan.

April 26-27

__Field (Golfstat ranking): __Bradley (255), Creighton (238), Drake (197), Evansville (204), Illinois State (91), Northern Iowa (198), Missouri State (150), Southern Illinois (213), Wichita State (70)

Defending champion: Wichita State (+18/882) by 15 strokes over Illinois State; Wichita State's Connor McHenry and Dustin Garza (E/216) shared the individual title

Skinny: Playing a tough course like Prairie Dunes will only separate Wichita State even more from the rest of the field. It would be a shockers if the Shockers didn't win for a third straight year.


__   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)

Entrada at Snow Canyon, St. George, Utah

April 26-27

Field (Golfstat ranking): Centenary (219), *IUPUI *(N/A), IPFW (246), UM-Kansas City (140), North Dakota State (239), Oakland (205), Oral Roberts (164), South Dakota State (226), Southern Utah (218), Western Illinois (128)__

Defending champion:__ Oral Roberts (-4/860) by nine strokes over UM-Kansas City; Oral Roberts' Scott Stiles (-9/207) by four strokes over South Dakota State's Trent Peterson

Skinny: Time for Western Illinois to get some revenge on Oral Roberts for ending its three-year Summit League win streak a year ago. Amazingly on two schools are eligible right now for NCAA regionals with overall winning records.


__   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)

Greystone GC, Dickson, Tenn.

April 26-28

Field (Golfstat ranking): Austin Peay State (196), Eastern Illinois (208), Eastern Kentucky (152), Jacksonville State (129), Morehead State (194), Murray State (122), Tennessee State (N/A), Tennessee Tech (209), UT-Martin (230)

Defending champion: Austin Peay State (+13/877) by one stroke over Murray State; Jacksonville State's Gonzalo Berlin (-2/214) by one stroke over Morehead State's Rex Lee Chaney

Skinny: Murray State looks to end a 19-year conference title drought in Tennessee.


__   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)

ASU Karsten GC, Tempe, Ariz.

April 26-28

Field (Golfstat ranking): Arizona (44), Arizona State (13), California (35), Oregon (2), Oregon State (23), Stanford (1), UCLA (4), USC (10), Washington (6), Washington State (69)

Defending champion: Washington (-16/1,424) by 18 strokes over Oregon; Washington's Darren Wallace (-11/277) by four strokes over Washington's Nick Taylor

Skinny: The toughest conference in the country has arguably the best championship set-up: four rounds, one 36-hole day and six play, five count format to make sure your team is deep. You could make an argument for any of seven schools to realistically win this year. I'll stick with last year's champion, Washington, to repeat at conference for the first time in school history.


__Seven Oaks GC, Hamilton, N.Y.

April 26-28

Field (Golfstat ranking): Army (N/A), Bucknell (201), Colgate (256), Holy Cross (257), Lafayette (241), Lehigh (N/A), Navy (N/A)

Defending champion: Bucknell (+44/884) by five strokes over Navy; Bucknell's Andrew Cohen (-2/208) by eight strokes over Army's Matt Krembel

Skinny: Bucknell, with four seniors in the lineup, has some momentum, finishing either first or second in their last four tournaments. Cohen could become the second player in league history to win the individual title more than once, joining Bucknell's Charles Waddell (2005, 2006).


__   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)

Carter Plantation, Springfield, La.

April 26-28

Field (Golfstat ranking): Central Arkansas (N/E), Lamar (73), McNeese State (N/A), Nicholls State (243), Sam Houston State (87), S.E. Louisiana (45), Stephen F. Austin State (98), Texas State (105), UT-Arlington (77), UT-San Antonio (203)

Defending champion: Lamar (-5/859) by 10 strokes over UT-Arlington; S.E. Louisiana's Cedric Scotto (-4/212) in playoff over Lamar's Justin Harding and UT-Arlington's Zack Fischer

Skinny: Lamar is the four-time defending champion, but the Cardinals aren't the favorites this week. That label goes to S.E. Louisiana. Moreover, Lamar has yet to hit the .500 mark in order to be eligible for an at-large post-season berth.


__   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)

RTJ Golf Trail at The Shoals, Muscle Shoals, Ala.

April 26-28__

Field (Golfstat ranking):__ Arkansas State (110), UA-Little Rock (102), Denver (118), Florida Atlantic (121), Louisiana-Lafayette (114), Louisiana-Monroe (N/A), Middle Tennessee State (41), New Orleans (75), North Texas (76), South Alabama (83), Troy (149), Western Kentucky (195)

Defending champion: Middle Tennessee State (+2/866) by six strokes over Denver; Denver's Espen Kofstad (-8/208) by five strokes over Arkansas State's Lloyd du Preez

Skinny: Hard to see any school other than Middle Tennessee State from taking the team title.