Players of the week: Oct. 20-26
Darren Blair, N.C. State
With a five-stroke victory at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate, the senior from South Africa made it two straight starts in which a Wolfpack golfer has claimed an individual title, following up Matt Hill's win at the Hartford Hawks Invitational. Blair shot a six-under 210, including a final-round 70, that outpaced Wake Forest's__Dustin__ Groves, East Tennessee State's__Rhys Enoch__, UAB's__Zach Sucher__ and Coastal Carolina's Zack Byrd and earned him his first career title as N.C. State closed out its fall season.
Blair jumped into the lead at The Ridges G&CC in Jonesborough, Tenn., on Saturday with a three-birdie, no-bogey 69 second round, which tied for the day's low score.
*(Photo credit: Peyton Williams/NCSU athletics) *
Anna Nordqvist, Arizona State
The junior from Sweden was the only player in the field at the Derby Invitational to break par in all three rounds as she claimed medalist honors at Auburn University Club with a nine-under 207, four strokes better than fellow Sun Devil Azahara Munoz and Virginia's Whitney Neuhauser.
"It feels so good to win, I've been so close so many times," said Nordqvist, who claimed her third career title but first outright since spring 2007. "Everything just seemed to go my way this tournament. I played solid golf, and I'm really happy."
Nordqvist's efforts also helped the Sun Devils claim the team title in Auburn, Ala., winning by an impressive 18 strokes over Virginia after posting a five-over 869 total. It was ASU's second victory of the fall season.
Potentially, the Derby could have been Nordqvist's final tournament as a college player. The 21-year-old is set to play in the final stage of LPGA Qualifying School and if she were to earn a tour card she has hinted that she likely would leave school and turn professional.
(Photo: Courtesy of ASU Sports Information Department)