News & ToursApril 15, 2008

First look at conference championships

Hard to believe it, but we crown our first conference championship winners later today as the college golf postseason kicks into gear. Two men's tournament and six women's events are currently underway.

This afternoon the West Coast Conference champions will be decided at Chambers Bay outside Tacoma. San Diego, seeking its first conference title, is in first place in the men's team race after two rounds, nine strokes up on Loyola Marymount and 11 strokes ahead of St. Mary's (Calif.) and Pepperdine. The Toreros entered the tournament with a 71-75 record, so they have to finish at least second in order to be eligible for an at-large bid to NCAA regionals (thanks to the .500 rule). Of course, if they win they conference title, they get the automatic bid.

On the WCC women's side, where there is no automatic bid given to the conference champion because of having just five teams who play golf and no .500 rule to contend with, Pepperdine has a comfortable 19-stroke lead over San Francisco.

The other league winner that will be decided today is the Missouri Valley Conference women's champion. It's a two-team race as Illinois State has a slim one-stroke lead on Southern Illinois, with Drake and Northern Iowa tied for third but 15 strokes back.

Later in the week, I'll do a more in-depth preview of this weekend's conference championship. Until then, here is a schedule for this week.

MEN (links to live scoring)  Date              Place                          Leader

West Coast                          April 14-15     Chambers Bay              San Diego

Southland                            April 14-16     Gray Plantation           Sam Houston State

ACC                                    April 18-20     Old North State Club

Colonial Athletic Assoc.       April 18-20      Golden Horseshoe

SEC                                    April 18-20      Frederica GC

Ivy League                          April 19-20      Galloway National

WOMEN (links to scoring)__    Date              Place                          Leader__

Missouri Valley                     April 13-15     Oak Hills CC                Illinois State

West Coast                           April 14-15    Chambers Bay              Pepperdine

Atlantic Sun                         April 14-16     The Ridges GC             East Tennessee State

Big South                             April 14-16     The Patriot GC             Charleston Southern

Conference USA                    April 14-16     Butterfield Trail GC     Southern Mississippi

Ohio Valley                          April 14-16     RTJ Shoals                   Murray State

Mountain West                     April 17-19     U. of New Mexico GC

ACC                                    April 18-20     LPGA International

Colonial Athletic Assoc.        April 18-20    Golden Horseshoe

SEC                                     April 18-20     Tennessee National

Ivy League                           April 19-20     Trenton CC

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