The Loop

This week's syllabus: April 8-14


My look at the top five school in the country right now


Seriously, try picking any one school to fill the top spot and I can give you six others—maybe 10—that you can make a strong argument about. More importantly, I'm not sure I feel like any school has played well enough over a sustained period of time lately to warrant top billing


2. Washington (NR)

We'd been waiting on the Huskies to have a breakthrough performance, and the final round at the ASU Thunderbird looked like just that. Rallying from 16 back to claim the title with a 16-under 268 was hugely impressive and has to give UW fans some confidence in defending their Pac-10 title their later this month.

Next event: U.S. Intercollegiate, Stanford GC, Stanford, Calif., April 11-13


3. Augusta State (NR)

Shooting 47 under in any tournament is impressive, even if it is your home event. The Jaguars have been building some momentum this spring with a win at the Seahawk Intercollegiate to start the semester. The thing of it too, is that they've been getting solid efforts from multiple players.

Next event: Ping Cougar Classic, Riverside CC, Provo, Utah, April 23-24


__4. Oregon __(1)

Three tournaments in 14 days could put some strain on a squad, but the Ducks handled it with few bruises, finishing first (Oregon Duck), third (Barona Collegiate) and fourth (ASU Thunderbird). The whirlwind concludes this weekend at the U.S. Intercollegiate, where Stanford alum Casey Martin can offer some wisdom on his charges at his former college course.

Next event: U.S. Intercollegiate, Stanford GC, Stanford, Calif., April 11-13


5. Texas (4)

A one-shot loss to Georgia at the Morris Williams stings but that shouldn't cloud the fact it was another good week for the Longhorns, who have finished either first or second in five of 10 tournaments in 2009-10.

Next event: Aggie Invitational, Traditions Club, College Station, Texas, April 17-18


6. Stanford (3)

The Cardinal was one of schools that was run-over by Washington's final-round charge at the ASU Thunderbird, eventually finishing tied for fourth. Biggest question mark when they host the U.S. Intercollegiate is whether Sihwan Kim can put his last place showing in the desert behind him.

Next event: U.S. Intercollegiate, Stanford GC, Stanford, Calif., April 11-13



The Trojans head to the desert for their final regular season tournament with a confident Jennifer Song, who claimed low amateur honors at last week's LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship. With__Belen Mozo__ and Lizette Salas behind her, that makes for a pretty impressive lineup.

Next event: Ping ASU Invitational, Karsten GC, Tempe, Ariz., April 9-11


I'd have a hard time arguing that there's another team in the country that's played more consistently than the  Bruins in 2009-10. They have a 99-9-2 head-to-head record this season, with no worse than a T-4 finish in seven tournaments.

Next event: Ping ASU Invitational, Karsten GC, Tempe, Ariz., April 9-11


Why is it that I feel we're going to see the name Carlota Ciganda on the leader board a fair amount this weekend. Of course, playing at home, we could see any of the five Sun Devils starts in contention.

Next event: Ping ASU Invitational, Karsten GC, Tempe, Ariz., April 9-11


4. Duke (4)

The Blue Devils' streak of 13 straight ACC titles was broken a year ago. Think they don't have a little revenge on their minds when they go to Greensboro next week?

Next event: ACC Championship, Sedgefield CC, Greensboro, N.C., April 16-18


5. Florida State (NR)

Kate Golden seems to be doing her best to get the interim tag dropped from her title with her second victory in three tournaments since taking over the post in February. You might recall on the men's side that Brad James was an interim coach when Minnesota won the NCAA title in 2002. I'm not saying I think the Seminoles are going to win at nationals, but winning the Bryan National is no small feat.

Next event: SunTrust Gator Invitational, Mark Bostick GC at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla., April 10-11





__Number of strokes better than the final-round average that the Georgia men shot at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate en route to a one-stroke victory over host Texas. The Bulldogs posted an even-par 284 at University of Texas GC on a day when the overall average was 304.07. That allowed them to rally from 15 strokes back to win their first tournament of the 2009-10 season.




Wolfpack Intercollegiate

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

April 9-10

Host: N.C. State

Field: Charleston, Coastal Carolina, Duke, East Carolina, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Michigan, UNC Wilmington, New Orleans, North Carolina, N.C. State, Purdue, VCU, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest

Defending champion: Duke (-14/850) by six strokes over N.C. State; N.C. State's Matt Hill (10-under 206) by four strokes over Duke's Matthew Pierce Jr.

Skinny: The Wolfpack's new Arnold Palmer designed course hosts its first college tournament.

__Robert Kepler Intercollegiate

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

Scarlet Course at Ohio State, Columbus, Ohio (Par 71, 7,451 yards)

April 10-11

Host: Ohio State

Field: Charlotte, Eastern Michigan, Houston, Kent State, North Texas, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Wisconsin, Xavier

Defending champion: Northwestern (+40/892) by two strokes over East Tennessee State; Ohio State's Brad Wright (+5/218) by two strokes over Northwestern's Josh Dupont

Skinny: Field includes a handful of schools (host Ohio State, Oklahoma, Xavier) that are thinking about the ".500 rule"

__UK Bluegrass Invitational

__UK Big Blue GC, Lexington, Ky.

April 10-11

Host: Kentucky

Field: Akron, Auburn, Bowling Green State, Canisius, Cincinnati, Dayton, Eastern Kentucky, Gardner-Webb, Jacksonville, Kentucky, Lipscomb, Loyola, Marshall, Memphis, Miami (Ohio), Morehead State, Murray State, UNC-Greensboro, Ohio, South Alabama, Toledo, Western Carolina, Western Kentucky, Youngstown State.

Defending champion: Kentucky (+16/880) by 10 strokes over Western Carolina; Austin Peay's Erik Barnes (-1/215) by three stroke over Ohio's Chris Warmbein

Skinny: Tourney enters third year who goal of expanding beyond local region.

__U.S. Intercollegiate

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

Stanford GC, Stanford, Calif. (Par 71, 6,727 yards)

April 11-13

Host: Stanford

Field: Arizona State, California, Denver, Fresno State, Hawaii, Lamar, Long Beach State, Oregon, Oregon State, Pepperdine, San Diego State, San Francisco, San Jose State, Stanford, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, USC, Washington, Washington State

Defending champion: Washington (-36/804) by 15 strokes over USC; Washington's Nick Taylor (-12/198) by one stroke over Washington's Darren Wallace

Skinny: The medalist in the 42nd edition of the tournament earns a sponsor's exemption into the PGA Tour's Reno-Tahoe Open in July.

__Columbia Orthopaedic Group OG Mizzou Intercollegiate

__The Club at Old Hawthorne, Columbia, Mo.

April 12-13

Host: Missouri

Field: Ball State, Belmont, Creighton, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Oral Roberts, St. Mary's, South Dakota State, Wyoming, IUPUI

Defending champion: Kansas State, (+10/874) by two strokes over New Orleans and UT-Arlington; SMU's Kelly Kraft (-8/208) on second playoff hole with Xavier's Sebastian Mac Lean

__Skinny:No clear front runner in this clash of (mostly) midwestern schools.  __


PING/ASU Invitational

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

ASU Karsten Course, Tempe, Ariz. (Par 72, 6,230 yards)

April 9-11

Field: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, California, Denver, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, Purdue, San Jose State, Stanford, Texas, Tulsa, UCLA, USC, Washington, Washington State

Defending champion: Oklahoma State (+17/881) by one stroke over Purdue; Purdue's Maria Hernandez (-5/211) by one stroke over USC's Jennifer Song

Skinny: No one school has dominated the event in the recent past; seven different teams have won the title in the last 10 years with host ASU and USC winning it twice.

__SunTrust Gator Women's Invitational

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

Mark Bostick GC at University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla. (Par 70, 6,002 yards)

April 10-11

Host: Florida

Field: Chattanooga, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Florida, Florida State, Furman, Georgetown, Georgia State, Michigan State, UNC Greensboro, Nebraska, Notre Dame, South Florida, Texas A&M, UCF

Defending champion: Auburn (+73/913) in playoff over Duke; Duke's Amanda Blumenherst (+12/222) by two strokes over Georgia State's Charlotte Lorentzen and Washington's Molly Aronsson

Skinny: Six schools from the Sunshine State are in the field but there are no SEC team save the host Gators.

__Indiana Invitational

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

Indiana University GC, Bloomington, Ind. (Par 72, 6,142 yards)

April 10-11

Host: Indiana

Field: Ball State, Colorado, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Illinois State, Indiana, Indiana State, Iowa State, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri State, Oakland, Western Michigan

Defending champion: UNLV (+67/931) by 13 strokes over Iowa State; UNLV's Natasha Krishna (+9/225) by four strokes over Western Michigan's Elise Swartout

Skinny: A nice chance for some school to get a little confidence heading into the conference championship season.

__Baylor Spring Invitational

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

Twin Rivers GC, Waco, Texas (Par 72, 6,394 yards)

April 12-13

Host: Baylor

Field: UALR, Baylor, Boise State, Kansas State, McLennan CC, North Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oral Roberts, Oregon, SMU, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas State, Texas Tech, UT-San Antonio, Wichita State

Defending champion: Illinois State (+63/927) by four strokes over New Mexico State; SMU's Kate Ackerson (+7/223) by two strokes over New Mexico State's Suterra Chanachai

Skinny: Rare to see a women's event that's nearly 6,400 yards in college golf these days.